GET INVOLVED:

Top 10 Ways Sen. Mark Kirk’s Budget Squeezes the Middle Class

FYI – similar releases were issued to state press chiding Sens. Ron Johnson, Kelly Ayotte, Rob Portman, Marco Rubio, Pat Toomey

Washington DC (May 6, 2015) – Last night U.S. Senator Mark Kirk joined fellow Republicans in passing an extreme FY2016 federal budget plan that would grind the economic recovery to a halt and put the middle class out of reach for millions of Americans. Republicans claim their plan ‘balances the budget’, but neglect to mention they prefer to do it entirely on the backs of seniors, the less fortunate, students, and working families and without asking millionaires or corporations that ship jobs and profits overseas to contribute their fair share. In fact Kirk would give the wealthy few even more tax breaks they don’t need and won’t create jobs with, while raising taxes on average Americans. The Kirk-GOP budget priorities are a great deal for big health insurance companies, outsourcers and oil billionaires like the Koch brothers, but it’s a raw deal for everyday families who are expected to work harder for less. Here’s the Top 10 Reasons Why Sen. Kirk’s Budget Plan Is a Recipe for Economic Disaster:

1)      It Kills 2.3 Million Jobs, Including Over 96,000 Pink Slips in Illinois:   Economic Policy Institute: “Based on standard multipliers and relationships between GDP and employment growth, I estimate that the Senate GOP budget cuts would reduce GDP by 0.7 percent in FY2016 and decrease payrolls by almost 800,000 jobs, relative to CBO’s baseline economic and budget projections. It gets even worse in FY2017—GDP would be reduced by almost 1.9 percent, with payrolls decreasing by 2.3 million jobs.” [EPI, March 20, 2015]

2)      It Soaks the Poor: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: “The budget conference agreement calls for nearly $5 trillion in cuts in domestic programs over ten years, with no deficit-reduction contribution from revenue increases of any sort…. at least 63 percent of the non-defense cuts in the budget plan over the decade come from programs for the less fortunate…. By 2025, the budget conference agreement shrinks programs for low- and moderate-income households by at least 38 percent, on average. The budget repeals health reform and cuts Medicaid deeply on top of that. It reduces basic food assistance for low-income families and individuals substantially and significantly cuts grants and loans to help low-income students afford college. The budget also allows key provisions of tax credits for working-poor families to expire after 2017, which would push 16 million people into -- or deeper into -- poverty.” [CBPP, May 4, 2015]

3)      It Raises Taxes on the Middle Class: “Raises taxes by an average of $900 on 13 million families with 25 million children – who have an average household income of just $22,600. This increase stems from the Republican budget’s plan to allow tax credits for working families to expire, despite the fact that 73 senators voted to maintain the expanded credits.” [U.S. Senate Budget Committee (Democratic members), May 4, 2015]

4)      It Hacks and Slashes Critical Investments in Education: “Slashes Pell Grant funding by more than a third by eliminating mandatory funding for Pell Grants, cutting the program by nearly $90 billion over 10 years – and cutting discretionary Pell funding by $30 billion more. This would make college less affordable for many of the more than 8 million students receiving aid and tens of millions more over the next decades … Eliminates an in-school interest subsidy for need-based student loans, increasing student loan debt by nearly $4,000 for an estimated 30 million students; Eliminates Head Start services for 400,000 children over the next decade by cutting the program by more than $4 billion; Cuts for Title I education funding and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act funding by $7 billion. [U.S. Senate Budget Committee (Democratic members), May 4, 2015]

5)      It Reopens the Part D Donut Hole Rx Drug Gap and Sticks Over 194,000 Illinois Seniors with Higher Costs: “Increase prescription drug prices for than 9.4 million seniors and persons with disabilities who are on Medicare Part D by re-opening the donut hole.” [U.S. Senate Budget Committee (Democratic members), May 4, 2015]

6)      It Shortchanges Veterans’ Health Care Services: “The budget plan cuts non-defense discretionary programs another $496 billion from 2017-2025on top of the cuts that will be instituted under full sequestration through 2021 and the Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) estimate of the continuation of sequestration after 2021. … Non-defense discretionary programs include education, job training, infrastructure, scientific and medical research, veterans' health care, child care, and various other important areas.” [CBPP, May 4, 2015]

7)      It Kicks Seniors Out of Nursing Homes: “Cuts Medicaid by at least $400 billion which would eliminate health insurance for at least 11 million Americans, and jeopardize nursing home care for some of the most vulnerable Americans in this country.”  [U.S. Senate Budget Committee (Democratic members), May 4, 2015]

8)      It Leaves 23 Million Americans Without Health Insurance and Vulnerable to Medical Bankruptcy; Leaves Everyone Vulnerable Again to the Worst Insurance Industry Practices Like Dropping You When You Get Sick: “The Republican budget would repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would: Immediately eliminate health insurance coverage for 16.4 million Americans and reduce the ranks of the insured by 23 million within one year; Deny over 2.3 million young adults the right to stay on their parents’ health insurance plan until the age of 26; Deprive up to 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions the right to purchase affordable health insurance if they lose their jobs or otherwise lose their health insurance. .. Deprive every woman in this country with equal protection that prevents insurance companies from charging extra simply because they are women.” [U.S. Senate Budget Committee (Democratic members), May 4, 2015]

9)      It Gives Trust Fund Babies Like Paris Hilton and Donald Trump Jr a Giant Tax Break that Balloons the Deficit by $269 Billion: “Provides a $269 billion tax break for the wealthiest 0.2 percent of Americans over the next decade by abolishing the estate tax – providing an average tax break of $3 million to multi-millionaires and billionaires.” [U.S. Senate Budget Committee (Democratic members), May 4, 2015]

10)  It Gives Job Outsourcers a Massive Tax Break, Protects Useless Oil Subsidies:  “Calls for lowering the top corporate tax rate, at a time when corporate profits are at an all-time high and the effective corporate tax rate is just 12.6 percent.‎ Calls for lowering the top individual tax rate at a time when the top one percent already earn more income than the bottom 50 percent. Does nothing to eliminate over $40 billion in tax breaks and subsidies for oil and gas companies, even as the five biggest oil companies alone made more than $1 trillion in profits over the last decade.” [U.S. Senate Budget Committee (Democratic members), May 4, 2015]

###