How Paul Ryan's Budget Plan Burdens Low-Income Americans

The Paul Ryan budget passed by House Republicans, applauded by Mitt Romney, really does take us back to the Hoover administration. It gives massive tax breaks to the wealthy while slashing programs for low-income America. In fact, nearly two-thirds of the cuts in the Republican budget hit programs for the most vulnerable Americans.

Total cuts in low-income programs (including cuts in both discretionary and entitlement programs) appear likely to account for at least $3.3 trillion — or 62 percent — of Chairman Ryan’s total budget cuts, and probably significantly more than that; as explained below, our assumptions regarding the size of the low-income cuts are conservative.

budget chart

Those cuts:

  • $2.4 trillion in reductions from Medicaid and other health care for people with low or moderate incomes.
  • $134 billion in cuts to SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program.
  • At least $463 billion in cuts in mandatory programs, such as farm programs and federal employee retirement.
  • At least $291 billion in cuts in low-income discretionary programs, like Head Start, child care, K-12 education, job training, Pell grants and services for the elderly.

Those are estimates from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities of the proposal written by Rep. Paul Ryan, and now embraced by House Republicans and Mitt Romney. But they're just estimates, since Ryan didn't do much actual homework by specifying cuts. The real amounts Ryan and his Republican cohorts envision cutting in these programs could be much, much higher.

The Republican tax rates would be the lowest for the wealthy since the Hoover administration. The cuts to programs for low-income Americans would bring back the Hoover administration for them, too.

Daily Kos / By Joan McCarter | Sourced from

Posted at March 30, 2012, 7:54am

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