Paul Ryan’s “New” Plan: Squeeze the Poor, Boost the Rich


Oh Lord. I almost forgot that today is Paul Ryan Day, even though I wrote about it just yesterday. So what’s in the 2014 version of the Ryan budget? Let’s see:

  • Repeal of Obamacare (though we keep Obamacare’s cuts to Medicare, as well as its new taxes).
  • Medicare would be converted into a voucher system.
  • Big cuts to Medicaid.
  • Big cuts to other domestic programs.
  • Repeal of the sequester cuts in the Pentagon budget.
  • A “simplified” income tax system with only two brackets, 10 percent and 25 percent.
  • A reduction in the corporate tax from 35 percent to 25 percent.

I’ll dive into the details later. Maybe. But basically this is the same old same old. Big tax cuts on the rich, big tax cuts for corporations, and big spending increases for the military. For the poor, the middle class, and the elderly, we have big spending cuts and—though Ryan doesn’t admit it—the almost mathematical certainty of big tax increases.

At this point, I honestly have only one wish for all this: that the press finally wises up and refuses to call this a “deficit reduction” plan. It’s not. It’s a plan to dramatically cut domestic spending, full stop, mostly on the poor, the middle class, and the elderly. Every other component of the plan increases the deficit.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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