For the third year in a row, Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY) voted against Rep. Paul Ryan's budget proposal, a plan that would end Medicare as we know it, raise taxes on the middle class and put two million Americans out of work. Rep. Slaughter instead supported a Democratic alternative that responsibly reduces the deficit, makes job-creating investments in infrastructure, and ensures financial security for our seniors and prosperity for middle-class and working families.
"Mr. Ryan titled his budget a "Path to Prosperity', but in reality, it is a path to pain for middle-class and working families," said Congresswoman Slaughter. "Instead of putting people back to work, ensuring healthcare for our seniors and opportunities for our children, the Ryan budget puts two million Americans out of work, ends Medicare as we know it, and slashes investments in education. Instead of asking the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations to contribute their fair share to reduce our deficit, the Ryan budget showers them with more tax breaks. The American people endorsed a balanced approach to reducing our deficit, and that's what the Democratic proposal offers."
The Ryan budget, widely maligned in the press as an unserious proposal designed to move the goalposts on a budget deal farther to the right, contained many familiar pieces of Ryan's previous two proposals, including:
Turning Medicare into a voucher system where seniors are no longer guaranteed coverage;
Raising taxes on middle-class families to the tune of $3,000 a year by ending popular tax credits and deductions, while cutting taxes for millionaires by an average of $245,000 per year;
Putting two million Americans out of work in 2014 alone by cutting funding for scientific research, infrastructure, medicine, and other crucial fields that support jobs;
Slashing Medicaid by one-third, disproportionately impacting seniors in nursing homes and those without health insurance; and
Repealing the Affordable Care Act, which would legalize health insurance discrimination based upon pre-existing conditions, force young adults off their parents' health insurance, and re-open the donut hole for our nation's seniors.
The Democratic alternative, by contrast:
Invests $200 billion for jobs in education, infrastructure, research and development, and other crucial fields;
Stops the sequester's drastic cuts to services and job losses;
Preserves the Affordable Care Act with all of its benefits;
Ensures the promise of Medicare for future generations; and
Closes corporate tax loopholes, ends subsidies to oil companies, and ends tax breaks for the wealthy.