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More Radical Budgets!

In addition to the devastating Ryan budget (H Con Res 34) for FY 2012, at least two other budget proposals will likely come to a vote in the Senate – as early as 5:00 today (5/25/11).

Senator Patrick Toomey (PA) has introduced another, potentially more damaging, budget resolution (S.Con Res 19). Its one positive is that it does not replace Medicare with a voucher that would cover only a small part of the cost for seniors. However, it mirrors Ryan’s budget in non-defense discretionary programs (cuts $1.5 billion over 10 years).

His proposal makes much deeper cuts in entitlement programs ($3.8 trillion over 10 years). This includes $1.1 trillion from Medicaid, turning it into a Block Grant Program and cutting it in half by 2021. This would require cutting large numbers of seniors, children, those with disabilities, and households with no economic power from Medicaid – requiring states to become responsible for their health needs. This is in addition to his repeal of parts of the Affordable Care Act, cutting $1.4 million.

In other mandatory programs such as, SNAP (food stamps), Unemployment Insurance and Supplementary Security Income (SSI), he would cut $900 billion. Additionally, $400 billion would be cut from education, training, employment and social services. In this category, he cuts $80 billion deeper than does Ryan.

With all of these cuts, there is no actual deficit reduction. He proposes changes to the tax code that would balance out what is saved in funding cuts.  Therefore, the wealthiest households and corporations in our nation would, again, be gifted with money taken from the other ninety percent of the people.

As if the Ryan and Toomey budget plans were not disastrous enough, Senator Rand Paul has come out with S. Con Res 20, which he says would balance the budget in five years. And, one more time we ask: at what cost?  Among other cuts, Sen. Paul would totally eliminate four of the major departments of the federal government:

-          Department of Education

-          Department of Energy

-          Department of Commerce

-          Department of Housing and Urban Development

He gives no insights on how any of the work currently done by these departments would be accomplished.  Further, he would obliterate almost all of the Affordable Care Act.  As a Tea Party conservative, his proposal would bring spending in one year to a level equivalent to what as spent before Medicare, Medicaid and many other programs existed. All discretionary spending would be cut to below FY 2008 levels. Even many members of the Republican Study Committee can only agree with small pieces of this bill.