The Republican Ryan Budget, A Cruel April Fool's Day Joke

April 1, 2014
Press Release

Today, Rep. Schakowsky issued the following response to the Republican Ryan budget proposal:

If budgets are all about priorities, the Ryan Republican budget’s priorities are all wrong.    

Think we need to prevent carbon pollution?  The Ryan Republican budget reduces spending to address global warming, makes funding cuts to clean energy technologies and approves the environmentally-dangerous Keystone XL pipeline.

Care about Medicare and Medicaid?  The Ryan Republican budget turns Medicare into a voucher program, cuts $129 billion, eliminates free preventive services, and reopens the donut hole gap in coverage. Medicaid is turned into a block grant and cut by more than $1.5 trillion – threatening everything from health care for children to long-term care for seniors and people with disabilities. 

Want affordable health care?  The Ryan Republican budget eliminates Obamacare’s tax credits to help individuals and small businesses purchase coverage, lets insurance companies set caps on the amount of annual and lifetime benefits they pay, and goes back to the days when people with pre-existing conditions are excluded and women are charged more.

Want to provide education opportunities?  The Ryan Republican budget cuts college Pell Grants – calling them “promises that cannot be kept.”

Think we should feed the hungry?  The Ryan Republican budget would cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – the nation’s best anti-hunger program, formerly called food stamps– by $125 billion.  More than 60 percent of all SNAP beneficiaries are children, seniors, or disabled. 

Support the arts?  The Ryan Republican budget zeroes out funding for National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and museums.

Of course, not everyone loses in the Ryan Republican budget – the winners are the richest Americans and most profitable corporations.  Both would see their top tax rates drop to 25 percent – increasing income inequality and wealth disparities that are already at levels not seen since the 1920s.

This must be a cruel April Fool’s Day Joke.

There could not be a starker contrast between the Republican Party’s priorities and the priorities of the American people.  There is a better way forward to create opportunity and an economy that works for everyone through investments in education, job creation, clean energy, health care and retirement security. 

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