To the Editor:
Conservatives lost the election but think the problem was everywhere but in their ideas. Now they are again talking about the Ryan budget. It's their path to fiscal solvency: give more tax breaks to the wealthiest few, gut programs for middle and lower income people.
The Congressional Budget Office reported that if the Ryan budget were adopted, by the year 2050, once Medicare, Social Security and the Children's Health Insurance Program were funded, there would only be 4 percent of our gross domestic product left for everything else including – and this is important – the military.
Since there has never been a time in recent history when the military budget was less than 3 percent of GDP and Republicans want to increase military spending, that means that there would not be a single federal program in existence other than the military and the three just mentioned. There would be no FBI, no Food and Drug Administration, no food and water safety programs, no Federal Aviation Administration, no Agriculture Department, no FEMA to handle disasters, no veterans benefits paid, no highway funds, no money for research and development, no boarder patrols, no national parks – nothing at all because the budget has no money for them.
This is hardly Democratic demagoguery, as some have said, but the actual analysis by the Congressional Budget Office and supported by the words of one of the most influential lobbyists in Washington on behalf of Conservative causes, Grover Norquist.
Norquist gave away the plan several years ago when he said, “I don't want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.” The analysis by Congressional Budget Office indicates the Ryan budget does just that, and most Republicans have signed on to it.
It gets worse.
Altogether, the Ryan tax plan proposes nearly $10 trillion in tax cuts for the wealthiest few over the next 10 years. The Brookings Tax Policy Center estimates that the average person making $1 million or more each year would receive an average of $275,000 in tax breaks. That's on top of the $127,000 given to them by the Bush tax cuts, which Republicans want to make permanent.
Ryan and his supporters claim that the richest few will be paying more because they intend to close various loopholes, but in fact neither Ryan nor any of his supporters ever identified a single specific loophole they would close. And they have rejected the possibility of closing the single most important tax loophole that the richest few enjoy the most: the lower tax rate for capital gains and dividends.
Even now they refuse to allow 98 percent of the people to have a tax cut if the other 2 percent are forced to pay 3 percent more on income over $250,000. For someone making $300,000 that's a mere $1,500 more per year! Hardly the class envy and attack on the rich they would have you believe.
Republicans will never say, “Vote for us! We favor giving more money to the richest few and austerity for the rest,” but that is exactly what they want and nothing shows it as clearly as their enthusiasm for the Ryan budget.
The real value of the Ryan plan is that it finally shows the Republicans for the party they are. Hopefully, the American public will soon understand.
Vietnam Era Vet