Wednesday, April 13, 2011
EMACIATING MAIN STREET, ENRICHING THE RICH:
Conservatives in Congress and the right-wing intelligentsia have unleashed a flurry of deficit reduction plans in recent months, which both continue to enrich the wealthy with massive tax cuts and which take aim at programs and investments for Main Street -- solutions that were tried under the previous president and failed. In House Republicans' much-touted budget resolution, H.R. 1, some of which made it into the recent budget deal to keep the government open, they dramatically cut Pell Grants, Head Start, foreign aid to children suffering from malaria, and other programs that benefit ordinary p eople, but are in no way the cause of our modern deficits. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) upped the ante when he released his FY2012 budget, which continues to call for massive and crippling cuts to the Pell Grant program, slash the Food Stamp program by $127 billion over ten years, effectively privatize Medicare, and likely increase taxes on the middle cl ass while dramatically cutting them for the rich and corporations, actually making taxes on the rich lower than at any other time since Herbert Hoover's presidency. At the end of the day, Ryan's budget would leave the safety net in tatters, investments in Main Street severely under-funded, and would have seniors paying the majority of their income for health care, destroying the promise of Medicare -- a system that Americans actually want expanded, not crippled. And while these conservatives are quick to ask Main Street to pay for debt that it did not primarily cause, they have no problem exempting some of the nation's biggest dirty energy corporations from fair sacrifice. Last month, House Republicans effectively said "so be it," as they voted in lockstep to protect billions of dollars in corporate welfare for Big Oil.