Monday, April 08, 2013

The Ryan Budget - Deja-vu All Over Again

By now, I am sure all of you are aware that the budget battle is heating up in Washington. Paul Ryan, the failed Vice Presidential candidate and Republican Congressman from Wisconsin, is leading the charge from the far right to balance the budget on the backs of working families and retirees.

Once again, he has proposed a budget that the Senate roundly rejected in the last Congress; the same budget that the voters rejected when they dashed his ambitions to be Vice President. To those in D.C., he must seem like the crazy cat woman who lives down the street. This is the third time the House Republicans have released the Ryan Budget. Someone once told me that “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” 

Fortunately for us, the Senate has declared the draconian cuts proposed by the Ryan Budget as “dead on arrival.” The time has come for Congressional Republicans to deal with the real challenges facing the nation; slow economic growth, high unemployment, and unprecedented income inequality. The GOP/Ryan budget targets working class seniors and their families with massive cuts to pay for tax breaks benefiting huge corporations and the wealthiest among us.  

We must protect the social safety nets that are designed to keep retirees out of poverty and the poor from starvation. Medicare and Social Security are now more important than ever before. With employers abandoning defined benefit pension plans at an alarming rate and going to court to dump their retiree health care responsibilities, these programs must be preserved, not dismantled!

Jim Centner, SOAR Director

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