National Politics

Republicans balance their budget with the cruelest cuts

House Republicans are working overtime to wriggle out of their sworn budget deal made back when brought us to the brink of default last August. The deal included mandatory cuts to our bloated defense budget if the Republicans couldn’t agree to raising revenue with a tiny tax bump for the very wealthy. Well, they still won’t agree to taxing the rich, they want to renege on cutting the payola to their defense industry cronies, so now Republicans want to shift the costs of tax cuts for the rich and such onto the backs of working Americans. They couldn’t possibly do it more cruelly:

The House Agriculture Committee voted on Wednesday to cut $33 billion over the next decade out of food stamps. That would immediately end benefits for two million people, and reduce benefits for the remaining 44 million people who use the program. A family of four would find their benefits lowered by $57 a month beginning in September, according to an analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The committee trimmed job training for food-stamp recipients by 72 percent; 280,000 students would no longer be eligible for free meals.

And what they didn’t cut? Not one cent of subsidies for corporate farms. But it gets worse:

The Ways and Means Committee has to cut $53 billion, and its members have already begun taking most of that money out of health care reform, starting with subsidies for insurance exchanges. The Financial Services Committee is planning to save $35 billion by eliminating the F.D.I.C.’s ability to take over failing banks, and hobbling the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau with a $5.4 billion cut.

Get that folks? House Republicans, who if you’ll remember promised to focus on jobs, jobs, jobs, when they tricked the voters into putting them back into power, intend to take the food out of poor children’s mouths, slash job training that would help people get off welfare, make it impossible for many more working Americans to afford health insurance, and remove legal protections for your bank funds.

They’re doing this so they can make sure the greatest bulk of any economic gains end up in the pockets of the filthy rich — again — and shield them from contributing their fair share to our national treasury in tax revenue. And they intend to dismantle any safeguards against the Big Banksters that would prevent them from gaming the system, bleeding out the money for their execs and crashing the economy all over again.

These are the GOP’s priorities. Are they yours? Because they’re surely not mine.

Libby Spencer
Libby Spencer is a social media maven whose political commentary has been published on a wide variety of websites including a rather short lived guest blog at Fox News. She has been practicing her particular brand of punditry at the Detroit News Politics blog since April 2004.