Members of Missouri's Congressional delegation has thrown in their lot with Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) budget proposal that would mean tax hikes for the middle class, even more tax cuts for the very wealthy, and an end to Medicare as we know it. In summary:
It offers a big bouquet to wealthy Americans, cutting their tax rates from 35 percent to 25 percent; eliminating the estate tax and taxes on capital gains and dividends. The richest 1 percent, who already take in nearly a quarter of American income and control almost 40 percent of all forms of wealth, would see their taxes cut in half. The average tax cut for millionaires would be about $500,000 a year.
The burden of the Ryan plan would be born by the shrinking middle class, which would lose its single biggest tax break, the deduction for home mortgages; and the elderly, who would see their Medicare health coverage effectively eliminated. Medicare for those already age 55 or older would be left alone (for political reasons) but younger Americans, as they become eligible, would get vouchers to purchase care on insurance exchanges.
Todd Akin appeared at the press conference announcing Ryan's plan. Billy Long likes it, parroting other GOPers' talking points about "mak[ing] the tough choices." Vicky Hartzler says it's a "smart, bold, proposal."
Interestingly, the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee didn't waste the opportunity to criticize Akin for supporting such an extreme and unfair plan. “Missouri seniors did not cause this fiscal mess and it’s downright shameful that Todd Akin wants to balance the budget on their backs, “ said a DSCC spokesman in a statement yesterday. (Their full press release is below the ump.)
Image credit: LA Times
Todd Akin Helps Author New Plan To Slash Medicare for Missouri Seniors
Akin Seen Cheerleading New Republican Plan That Protects Subsidies for Oil Companies, But Eliminates Health Care Services for Seniors
DSCC: “Todd Akin Has the Wrong Priorities”
Today, Republican leaders unveiled an extreme budget plan that protects subsidies for oil companies, but cuts Medicare funding for Missouri seniors. Incredibly, Todd Akin, co-author of the extreme proposal, was seen cheerleading the plan in an nationally televised press conference this morning. The new Republican spending plan maintains subsidies for oil companies and tax giveaways to the richest one percent, but privatizes Medicare and cuts funding for health care services for seniors.
“Missouri seniors did not cause this fiscal mess and it’s downright shameful that Todd Akin wants to balance the budget on their backs, “ said Matt Canter, spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. “Todd Akin has the wrong priorities. He is putting oil company profits ahead of seniors by considering a plan to essentially end Medicare as we know it and slash funding for nursing homes.”
Akin’s extreme Republican plan would especially hurt seniors who need long-term care through nursing homes since Medicare and Medicaid provide nearly 80% of payments to U.S. nursing homes.
Picture Caption: Todd Akin caught pushing an extreme Republican proposal to slash Medicare funding for Missouri seniors.
Akin Is A Member Of The House Budget Committee. [budget.house.gov]
More Background on the Republican Plan to Slash Medicare:
Wall Street Journal: GOP Plan Would “End Medicare.” According to the Wall Street Journal, “The plan would essentially end Medicare, which now pays most of the health-care bills for 48 million elderly and disabled Americans, as a program that directly pays those bills.” [Wall Street Journal, 4/04/11]
NPR: Key Part of GOP Plan Is “Ending Medicare.” According to NPR, “Ending Medicare as we know it is a key part” of the GOP budget plan. [NPR, 4/04/11]
Washington Post’s Ezra Klein: GOP Are Proposing to Privatize Medicare. According to the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein, “Ryan — and the GOP — are proposing to privatize Medicare. They’re proposing to save money by giving seniors less than their now-private Medicare will cost.” [Klein, Washington Post, 4/04/11]
Plan’s Author Acknowledged Plan Will Mean Higher Costs for Seniors. Ryan “acknowledged the proposal would shift more of the burden of healthcare cost to seniors, saying that the wealthiest seniors would bear the largest portion.” [Los Angeles Times, 4/3/11]
CBO: Risks for Future Spending Is Shifted to Beneficiaries. “Last year, the Congressional Budget Office did a quick analysis of the proposal and summed it up this way: ‘Although the level of expected federal spending and the uncertainty surrounding that spending would decline, enrollees' spending for health care and the uncertainty surrounding that spending would increase.’ In other words, the risks for future spending increases get shifted to beneficiaries from the federal budget.” [NPR, 4/04/11]
Plan's Author: No Ending Subsidies. When challenged by Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace about whether his budget will include reductions in Oil and Gas subsidies like the Presidents Fiscal Commission did, Ryan responded that “we don't have a tax problem". [Fox News Sunday, 4/3/11]
Medicaid and Medicare provide about four-fifths of payments to U.S. nursing homes. [McKnight's Long Term Care News, 4/05/11]