This week, Republicans are rolling out more specific details of their extreme budget that ends the Medicare guarantee, destroys jobs, and cuts taxes for the wealthy. Committees are holding hearings on the specific spending cuts to critical programs that Republicans want to make in order to keep funding tax cuts for the wealthy.
“…But what’s more explicit in this round is the real shift of resources from the domestic side of the ledger to military spending. Caught in the middle are… the working poor and long-term unemployed forced for the first time to rely on programs like food stamps in the current recession.” [Politico, 4/16/12]
“The first details have begun to emerge, portending a process full of political theater, with Republicans singling out President Barack Obama’s health care law, the Dodd-Frank financial reform law and tort reform as areas ripe for savings.” [Roll Call, 4/17/12]
Instead of putting forward a budget that reduces the deficit in a balanced way and calls on all Americans to pay their fair share, Republicans are targeting the most vulnerable among us and putting our economy at risk. Here’s a look at how their budget is shaping up:
- Slashing food stamps by $33.2 billion at a time when families can least afford it: “An average family of four would face an 11 percent cut in monthly benefits after Sept. 1 and, even more important, tighter enforcement of rules would require that households exhaust most of their liquid assets before qualifying for help. This hits hardest among the long-term unemployed, who would be forced off the rolls until they have spent down their savings to less than $2,000 in many cases.” [Politico, 4/16/12]
- Permanently eliminating the Social Services Block Grant program, which provides assistance for roughly 23 million Americans, including:
- Child care and related assistance for 4.4 million children,
- “Meals on Wheels” and other home-based services for nearly 1.7 million older Americans,
- Child protective services for 1.8 million at-risk children,
- Transportation, respite care and other services for nearly 1 million disabled individuals.
- Putting our nation at risk of another financial crisis by ending our ability to deal with banks that are “too big to fail.”
- Politicizing the process of funding the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an office created to protect consumers from predatory practices that contributed to the financial crisis.
- Cutting federal employee pensions and undermining our ability to recruit and retain the quality of people we need to carry out duties to keep our country safe, efficient, and equipped to compete in our increasingly competitive world.
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