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The Federal Budget: Who is Watching Out for the Average American?

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, attending a Tea Party rally in Miami, took some shots at President Barak Obama, claiming that his speech earlier this week to outline his budget plan was nothing more that a campaign speech.

“The president the other day didn’t offer a budget, he offered a speech, a partisan speech, it was a campaign speech,” Rubio said.  “He has to lead. These generational issues that our country faces can’t be solved unless the president leads and he doesn’t want to lead, he’d rather get re-elected than solve our problems, and I think that’s a mistake,” Rubio added.

These comments came on the heels of a proposal, offered by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), that would cut trillions from the federal debt over the next decade and transform Medicare from a government-run program into a voucher-like system where the government subsidizes purchases of private insurance plans. People aged 55 years and older would remain in the current system, but younger people would begin receiving subsidies that steadily lose value over time.

But the White House stood by its claim that the proposal guts Medicare. “The House Republican plan places the burden of debt reduction on those who can least afford it, ends Medicare as we know it, and doubles health care costs for seniors in order to pay for more than a trillion dollars in tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a statement released after the bill cleared the House.

The bill passed the Republican controlled House almost exclusively on party lines, with no Democrat voting for the bill and only 4 Republicans voting against it. The bill however, is very unlikely to pass in the Democrat controlled Senate.

According the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Ryan’s budget plan proposes $4.3 trillion in cuts to programs for the needy on one hand and then gives $4.2 trillion in tax cuts to the wealthy with the other.

Can someone please tell me what we are trying to accomplish here?

Once again, we are seeing extreme reactions to issues being proposed on both sides. It appears to me that this proposal is an attempt to break the backs of the lower and middle class and the elderly, while once again, giving the majority of the tax breaks to the wealthy under the guise of stimulating economic growth.

There appears to be no fairness in our politics any longer. Are we not supposed to assist those who are less fortunate than ourselves? Should not a reasonable quality of life be a guarantee in the United States. This is not a question of Republican or Democrat, but a question of humanity and compassion.

The budget proposal by Representative Ryan attempts to take one massive swing at cutting the federal deficit. This budget shortfall was created over many years, and reducing it should be done deliberately, but also with fairness and commonsense. Hurting those that most need the help is not the way to do it. In this economic climate we are finding people living below the poverty level or even on the streets that several years ago had good paying jobs and homes and paid taxes. I am by no means saying that there aren’t those that abuse the system, but there are millions of people that truly need the help. I would guess that the majority of us have a grandparent or parent, that without Medicare, couldn’t even afford the most basic of healthcare or we have a friend or loved one that has been unemployed and is barely able to get by, if they are able to get by on their unemployment benefits..

Example after example could be found across this great country of ours to highlight what is wrong with Representative Ryan’s plan.

If you think Senator Rubio’s comments regarding Presiden Obama’s budget plan are true, in that it was merely a campaign speech, I would contend that Rep. Ryan’s budget plan does nothing more than cater to the Tea Party and other fringe extremist conservative groups that demand massive budget cuts at the expense of the majority of Americans.

About Dominic DiFrancesco

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    In it’s critique of Ryan’s budget the extremely partisan CBPP provides no evidence or even explanation to support its assertion that the budget includes massive redistrubatory tax cuts. Such a major claim needs to be documented in at least some way.

    What Ryan’s proposal actually does is restructure the income tax system with a lowering and simplification of the tax rate, but changes which mean that while the tax rate does not go up for the poor and goes down for everyone else, exemptions and deductions are eliminated so that the wealthy continue to pay more. Yes, everyone might pay somewhat less under Ryan’s plan, but the purpose of that is to stimulate job growth, which is a reasonable goal.

    Ryan’s cuts are extremely inadequate, of course. The RSC plan is what should have been passed. Fortunately, all that’s happened so far is that the bill has been sent to committee. Necessary additional work like eliminating entire departments and ending the wars more quickly can be done there.

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    There appears to be no fairness in our politics any longer.

    When has there ever been? Everyone is looking out for their particular interests and always have.

    Are we not supposed to assist those who are less fortunate than ourselves?

    Assist them how? With handouts? No. With equal opportunity and the protection of the law? Sure. Ryan’s budget does nothing to stop that.

    Should not a reasonable quality of life be a guarantee in the United States.

    Absolutely not. You cannot mandate quality of life in a free society. What you can do is create an environment where people can earn a decent living and provide it for themselves.

    This is not a question of Republican or Democrat, but a question of humanity and compassion.

    No, it’s a question of individual liberty vs. an all powerful and oppressive state.

    Dave

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Calling the CBPP ‘extremely partisan’ yet exempting Paul Ryan [and Dave himself] from this label is plainly ridiculous.

    The White House and the CBPP should analyze and criticize Ryan’s plan. Ryan and his colleagues should analyze and criticize the Democrats’ counter-proposals. Exactly the way it’s supposed to work.

    Negotiation and compromise are the way a divided government can, should, and must operate.

    By the way, the CBPP has frequently criticized Democratic policy as well. Their web site has tons of valuable information.

    Read it in conjunction with, say, the Heritage Foundation’s comparable articles, and you may actually learn something: that the truth is often somewhere between the two extremes — not way the hell out in Pluto where Dave wants to pretend it is.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Rubio’s and Ryan’s remarks complaining [whining actually] that the president’s budget address was ‘a campaign speech’ were of course purely political themselves.

    For either side to pretend that they are ‘above politics’ and only after what’s best for the country is laughable. Politics is where the solution will have to occur. Even a bipartisan budget deal will be completely political, with each side aiming for maximum advantage.

    It’s likely that this impasse won’t really be decided until we know the results of the 2012 elections. The most political solution of all, and there’s nothing wrong with that really. Each side will be forced to make its best case and the voters will decide.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    By the way, the CBPP has frequently criticized Democratic policy as well.

    This is because they are far to the left of the Democratic Party.

    It’s likely that this impasse won’t really be decided until we know the results of the 2012 elections. The most political solution of all, and there’s nothing wrong with that really. Each side will be forced to make its best case and the voters will decide.

    The problem is that the longer we wait to take responsible action to get spending under control the harder it will be to do and the more adverse the secondary effects will be. This work should have been done a decade or more ago and the consequences have been snowballing since then.

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    And BTW, Handy. Your constant whining about how partisan I am is tedious. I’ve criticized both sides aggressively – I’m often more critical of Republicans than I am of Democrats, but you never look at issues from more than one very narrow position.

    Dave

  • troll

    Dave re #1…how will tax cuts – regardless of whom they ‘benefit’ – reduce Federal spending?

    also – projections from Obama or Ryan ignore the certainty of the next recession (due within seven years or so if the future turns out to be similar to the past)…so what sense do they make?

  • Boeke

    Oh tell us Dave how you argued against BushCo during the War buildups in Iraq and Afghanistan? How you fought against Bush financial excesses.

    Actually, you defended Bush excesses endlessly, contriving intricate excuses about how mild the debts were that the USA was undertaking to fight those unnecessary and wasteful wars while cutting taxes for rich people.

    And then you outright LIED about “off budget” war expenses, claiming that they were accommodated in the following year, whereas they were REALLY just pushed into the National Debt to the tune of $6trillion.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    And Dave, because you didn’t piss and moan about Bush enough that means that it’s okay for Obama to do whatever he wants, no matter how fucked up it might be. This is the new liberal bullshit line. Johnny did it, so why can’t I? I guess that line worked with liberal mommies, that’s why they actually think it works here.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    I think the idea is to point out the hypocrisy of Republicans, Andy, not to justify doing the same things they did. If Dems are really doing the same dumb things, point it out, certainly. I’m not sure you can — it’s just another ‘gotcha’ line for you to throw out.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Yeah, you’re right…there’s been so much hope and change these last couple of years.

    So much has changed. I mean, Gitmo’s closed! Because that was such a fucked up idea when Bush was doing it!

    KSM is being tried in federal court, because military tribunals were such a fucked up idea when Bush was doing them.

    The way the healthcare bill was debated out in the open was so cool, because Bush did so much in private.

    Barry doesn’t play golf near as much as Bush, because everybody knows Bush took too much time off.

    Yeah, shit really changes! You liberals are fucking blind!

    And I’m not a fucking republican!

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Not partisan, Dave, but certainly rigidly ideological.

    And many of your slanders against the Democratic party [such as your new and revised history of civil rights] are plainly based on vast oversimplifications, distortions, and half-truths.

    That’s why I call you a propagandist and an ideologue, not literally a Republican partisan but almost the same thing in practice. I realize you object to some Republicans occasionally, but I’ve never, ever heard you say a kind word about a Democrat.

    Genuine give and take, real argument, would be a refreshing change around here. True debate almost never includes deliberately slanted half-truths, zingers and cheap shots.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Obama and Holder tried to close Guantanamo and hold civilian trials, and they were shouted down and then blocked by Congress. Those actions couldn’t be taken unilaterally by the executive branch.

    I call your comments cheap ‘gotcha’ points, and in reply you issue half a dozen more equally cheap gotchas.

    And I never called you a Republican. I bet you have voted for a few, though.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Okay, you don’t like any of those…how ’bout, now we’re in three fucking wars that we don’t belong in…but I suppose Libya is Bush’s fault too!

    Shouted down by a democrat controlled congress! Let’s be clear on that part of it too! Why? Because it was a dumb fucking idea that made a good campaign slogan!

    They ain’t gotchas, they’re examples of more of the same old bullshit that some how gets called change and you liberals buy it!

    He’s the worst president EVER and the bad part about it is that right now, there’s no one worth a fuck that wants to challange him!

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Boy, I guess you showed me, huh. This is not a conversation, but a one-sided shouting match. I’m not interested, thanks.

  • http://www.somethingelsereviews.com Mark Saleski

    And I’m not a fucking republican!

    you sure act like one.

  • Desert Rat

    “He’s the worst president EVER”

    Usually spoken by someone who knows squat about American history

  • http://adventuresinamyland.wordpress.com/ Amy@AiA

    Let’s face it, when you look at proposals from both sides we are still ending up in more debt than we should be. Neither party is offering any real plan as to how to solve the issue.

    I think it’s time that “average Americans” start watching out for themselves and stop expecting the government to help you when it can’t even help itself. Basic finance 101: spend less than you earn.

  • Cannonshop

    #18 You’ll never get the parties to buy off on that-any serious threat to entrenched entitlements (whether corporate, or individual) is going to be met by a firestorm at the ballot-box. Better than 40% of Americans really DO believe the world owes them a living-that number represents the Democratic Party, but it’s low-balling because there are a raft of Republicans who think EXACTLY THE SAME THING.