Today U.S. Rep. Gary Peters voted against the Republican Ryan Budget. In his statement, Peters argued that we must work together to put middle-class families and seniors first.
"Today I voted to prevent tax hikes on Michigan's middle-class families and to protect Medicare for seniors," said U.S. Rep. Gary Peters. "America faces serious economic challenges and we need to work together on real solutions instead of playing partisan Washington games. To grow Michigan's economy, we must focus on policies that will strengthen our middle-class by creating new good paying jobs in all of our communities."
The following is an overview of the Republican budget.
Ends the Medicare Guarantee:
· Ends the Medicare Guarantee. Sends the Medicare guarantee -- fundamentally transforming Medicare from a guaranteed benefit program into a privatized voucher program. Under this program, rather than having guaranteed coverage of benefits, seniors would receive a voucher and would need to use that voucher to purchase private insurance, or supposedly, traditional Medicare. [State by State data, DPCC]
· Shifts Costs to Seniors. Provides that the vouchers seniors receive will not grow as quickly as health care costs -- shifting costs to seniors. As AARP has pointed out, "Chairman Paul Ryan's proposed budget fails to address the high costs of health care and instead shifts costs onto seniors and future retirees. Removing the Medicare guarantee of affordable health coverage seniors have contributed to through a lifetime of hard work is not the answer."
· Traditional Medicare Will Wither on the Vine. As AARP pointed out last year when Republicans had the same plan to end the Medicare guarantee, "The premium support method described in the proposal would likely "price out' traditional Medicare as a viable option, thus rendering the choice of traditional Medicare as a false promise. The proposal also leaves open the possibility for private plans to tailor their plans to healthy beneficiaries -- again putting traditional Medicare at risk."
Tax Breaks for the Wealthy & Special Interests:
· Worse than The Romney Tax Plan. Showers the wealthiest Americans with more huge tax cuts -- averaging $245,000 for millionaires -- even if the GOP reform taxes greatly reduce tax preferences for the wealthy. [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities]
o Aims to lower the tax rate for individuals at the top from 39.6% to 25% -- replacing the current tax brackets with just two brackets: 10% and 25% with no details on how Republicans would pay for these additional tax cuts.
· Middle Class to Foot the Bill. Could raise taxes on middle class families by an average of more than $3,000 per year. [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities]
· Or Increase the Deficit. The Republican tax plan costs $5.7 trillion, and the GOP budget does not offer any specifics on a plan to close tax loopholes. The Tax Policy Center says "it is hard to imagine" a plan to close tax loopholes that would be sufficiently large so that GOP tax cuts for the wealthy do not add to the deficit or for or force tax increases hitting the middle class. [Tax Policy Center]
· Corporations Shipping Jobs Overseas. Cuts the top corporate tax rate to 25% from 35% -- or over $1 trillion corporate tax cut-- and cuts taxes for companies moving jobs overseas (through the shift to a territorial system) even as U.S. companies are parking more of their record profits offshore to avoid paying taxes.
· Fails to Offer Specific Tax Loopholes to Close. Refuses to specify even a single tax loophole they will close -- not for Big Oil, corporate jets -- in order to reduce the deficit or pay for new tax cuts for the wealthy.
o Appears to protect the tens of billions in tax breaks for Big Oil while providing billions more in additional tax cuts to Big Oil from the corporate tax rate cut -- even as the top five oil companies took in over $250 billion in profits in 2011 and 2012, after raking in $1 trillion over the last decade.[Center for American Progress]
CostsJobs, Jeopardizes Economic Security, & Harms Our Economic Future:
· Destroys 2 Million Jobs
o Cuts in key investments to rebuild America and strengthen our competitiveness and economic futurewould cost two millionAmerican jobs next year alone, decrease GDPby1.7 percent, and stall our nation's recovery. [EPI]
o Leaves across-the-board cuts in place that this year alone will cost 750,000 American jobs.
o Slashes college student aid by a total of $168 billion over the next 10 years, by wiping out the entire $98 billion in mandatory Pell Grant funding, which jeopardizes the foundation of federal college aid for 10 million students, and also cutting student loan funding by $70 billion.
o Allows the interest rate on subsidized student loans to double this summer -- from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent.
o Eliminates the income-based repayment program which provides that federal student loan borrowers can cap their loan payments at 15 percent -- going down to 10 percent in 2014 -- of their discretionary income each year.
o By transferring all of the burden of the discretionary sequester onto non-defense programs, the budget will result in dramatically severe cuts in elementary and secondary education programs, such as Head Start, Title I aid for disadvantaged students, and IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) funding.
o Rejects the President's American Jobs Act proposals to create jobs and build infrastructure by investing in transportation, and makes deep cuts in transportation -- more than 20 percent over 10 years.
o At a time when our roads are in disrepair, 70,000 bridges structurally deficient, and transit ridership up, these cuts will stifle our ability to maintain and modernize our infrastructure, costing construction jobs now and reducing future economic growth.
o Slashesinvestments in clean energy alternatives --wind and solar -- that can make us less vulnerable to oil price spikes in the future-- wrongly claiming that several Administration's loan-guarantee projects have failed.
· Science& Research
o Slashes budgets for the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy's Office of Science, the Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology,the National Aeronautics and Space Administrationand National Institutes of Health, jeopardizing thousands of cutting-edge and life-saving research projects.
o Investments in next-generation research facilities and large experiments will also be significantly curtailed or delayed, slowing scientific progress in many fields of science.
o More than 50% of our economic growth since World War II can be attributed to development and adoption of new technologies.
· Health Care
o Block-grants and slashes Medicaid by $810 billion over the next 10 years, cutting Medicaid by nearly one-third in 2023 -- jeopardizing nursing home care for millions of seniors and undermining health care for millions of low-income children and people with disabilities.
o Repealing the Affordable Care Act means repealing health coverage for the 27 million uninsured Americans who are projected by CBO to gain coverage under the law.
o Repealing the Affordable Care Act means higher prescription drug costs for seniors in the "donut hole' and higher costs for seniors for key preventive services. It also means higher costs for key preventive services for tens of millions of Americans under age 65 with private insurance.
o Repealing the Affordable Care Act also means eliminating important consumer benefits, including protection against discrimination based on pre-existing health conditions, the ability of young adults to stay on their parents' health insurance plan up to the age of 26, and tax credits to help small businesses afford health insurance for their employees.
· Economic Security/Food Stamps
o Slashes helpputtingfood on the table formillions of familieswith children struggling to make endsmeet,by cutting the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps) by $135 billion over 10 years.
o These dramatic cutscould mean either:
§ cutting off all assistance for 8 to 9 million currently eligible households or
§ cutting benefits by more than $1,100 a year for a family of fourin 2016.[CBPP, State-by State]
o More than 80% of SNAP benefits go to households with a child, senior, or disabled person. [FRAC]