We Will All Prosper from the Better Off Budget
The House of Representatives will vote next week on various budget proposals for 2015. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan released his budget for the House Republican majority on April 1st. Earlier this month, the House Progressive Caucus released its budget, the“Better Off Budget”. The Ryan/Republican Budget is dead on arrival and will move no further in the congressional process this year because of certain Senate opposition. However, these two budgets clearly illustrate differing visions of America’s future. ECM strongly supports the Better Off Budgetand urges the House to vote “Yes” on it next week. Here is a brief comparison of the two budgets:
Better Off Budget – $1.3 trillion over 10 years for job creation through measures such as infrastructure investment, tax credits, and aid to the 50 states.
Paul Ryan/Republican Budget – No new funding for job creation.
Better Off Budget – Provides $47 billion over 10 years to invest in teachers and K-12 schools in addition to adding substantial general discretionary funding for education.
Paul Ryan/Republican Budget – Freezes the maximum Pell grant award at the same low level for the next 10 years, provides financial aid to fewer families, and makes substantial cuts to overall discretionary spending, which includes education.
Nutrition (Food Stamps)
Better Off Budget – Restores Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to last year’s levels, investing $15 billion over 10 years.
Paul Ryan/Republican Budget – Makes deep cuts to SNAP funding and converts the program to a block grant administered at the state level, a move certain to reduce assistance levels.
Better Off Budget – Increases funding for Medicaid through supplemental grants to states. Reduces fraud, waste, and abuse in Medicaid.
Paul Ryan/Republican Budget – Makes deep cuts to Medicaid and converts the program to a block grant administered at the state level. Repeals Medicaid expansion. Congressman Ryan criticizes other state-administered block grants such as the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) which funds state child abuse prevention programs. He seeks to end all funding for SSBG because states can’t provide “evidence of effectiveness.” As a bait and switch, Ryan wants to block-grant Medicaid and nutrition programs now so future Congresses could end them entirely using the same rationale he uses for SSBG.
Domestic Discretionary Funding (Education, energy and environment, housing, job training, etc.)
Better Off Budget – Ends once and for all the automatic cuts Congress calls “sequestration” to domestic programs and provides an additional $1.56 trillion in investments in children, health, and communities.
Paul Ryan/Republican Budget – Allows automatic budget cuts to slash domestic programs until at least 2023 and then makes substantially more cuts over 10 years – nearing 20 percent in some cases – for total cuts of $791 billion over a decade. This will negatively impact the functioning of government at every level and will harm the vast majority of citizens.
Better Off Budget – In addition to closing tax loopholes for millionaires and billionaires, the Better Off Budget creates a “Wall Street sales tax” on financial transactions including the sale of stocks and bonds to raise $908 billion over 10 years.
Paul Ryan/Republican Budget – Reduces the top corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent and moves to an “international” tax system that would reduce or eliminate taxes on overseas corporate profits.
Pentagon and Other Military Funding
Better Off Budget – Reduces waste, fraud, and abuse in military spending by $255 billion over 10 years.
Paul Ryan/Republican Budget – Prevents across-the-board budget cuts for defense contractors and the Pentagon, but not for anyone else. Ryan proposes spending more on weapons systems that the Pentagon doesn’t want.
The Better Off Budget invests in our future while the Ryan/Republican budget takes from our future. Click here to contact your Member of Congressand tell them to vote “Yes” on the Better Off Budget and “No” on the Ryan/Republican Budget.
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