House GOP Set to Launch Devastating Sneak Attack on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid Today

July 19, 2011

Under the Guise of the “Cut, Cap and Balance Act,” House Republicans Are Set to Launch a Devastating Sneak Attack on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid while Building an Impenetrable Fortress Around Tax Breaks for Millionaires, Big Oil and Job-Outsourcing Corporations

“It is so extreme that even the [Republican] budget plan of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan would not fully satisfy its requirements — the Ryan plan’s budget cuts wouldn’t be severe enough.” [Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, July 15] 


5 Things You Need to Know About the Reckless Republican ‘Cap, Cut, and Balance Act’ the US House Will Vote on Today …


1) “The legislation would inexorably subject Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to large reductions.”  According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities:   “I]t is inconceivable that policymakers would meet all of the bill’s severe annual spending caps — which would require trillions of dollars of budget cuts of unprecedented magnitude — through automatic across-the-board cuts year after year or else key government functions would be crippled.  Policymakers would have little alternative but to institute deep cuts in specific programs.  And as the largest programs in the federal budget, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid could not escape cuts of large size.”

2) It would “cause the loss of roughly 700,000 jobs” in just the short term – adding insult to injury to the fact that House Republicans have failed to offer up a single jobs job in 195 days since the start of the 112th Congress.

3) “[I]t protects tax breaks and tax subsidies for the wealthy and powerful by erecting a constitutional barrier to any measure that would raise any revenue,” notes CBPP’s Off The Charts blog, July 18Indeed, as summarized by Talking Points Memo: the legislation “would impose supermajority requirements -- two-thirds of both the House and Senate -- to raise taxes. That means it's really a formula for slashing spending at an epic clip, and, invariably, for devastating key safety net programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.”  SEE ALSO: Ezra Klein: The Bush tax cuts' effect on the deficit in one graph.”

4)  “[T]o meet a spending cap frozen at 18 percent of GDP, the government would have to shrink itself to the size it was in 1966, one year after the creation of Medicare, when life expectancy was lower, health care was cheaper, and the country was younger, and smaller in just about every way.” 

5) Seniors outraged at the Ryan-GOP budget plan that ends Medicare haven’t seen nothing yet.  Americans who have overwhelmingly rejected the Ryan-GOP budget plan for ending Medicare and the 71 percent of Americans that disapprove of the way congressional Republicans have handled debt limit negotiations are not likely to be won over with an even more reckless GOP plan that “would Require More Extreme Cuts Than Ryan Plan” for Medicare and Medicaid, and would also pull Social Security onto the chopping block.