Dingell: GOP's Divisive Budget Agenda Is Irresponsible and Hazardous


"Today, the House passed the Republican budget resolution for FY 2012. The budget resolution calls for a massive $5 trillion reduction in funding over the next ten years and freezes discretionary spending ― except for defense ― at irresponsibly low levels. It also would turn Medicare into a voucher program, which would reduce seniors' benefits in half, almost double their costs to $6,400 annually, and limit patients' choices. In addition, it would turn Medicaid into a block grant program that would provide little protection for beneficiaries and potentially leave some 15 million people without coverage. Unfortunately, the Republican budget resolution does not apply the savings from these hazardous cuts to deficit reduction as the GOP would like you to believe. Instead, the Republican budget resolution cuts taxes for the wealthiest two percent of the population by over $4 trillion, going even further than the irresponsible Bush Tax Cuts. As the President has said, for every millionaire with an extra $200,000 in his or her pocket under this plan, 33 seniors would each face over $6,000 in additional annual costs. This does not seem like honest budgeting to me.

"Sadly, the Democratic alternative budget resolution was turned down today by the Republican-controlled House. The Democratic alternative would have protected Medicare and Medicaid, and would have balanced the budget by 2018 by focusing on reducing all spending, including defense. This alternative budget resolution would have been a responsible attempt to protect critical government programs while considerably cutting down the national debt. The Democratic alternative also would have extended tax relief, but it would have been for middle class families, not for millionaires or colossal corporations. It also would have maintained critical investments in education and infrastructure, allowing us to out-perform the rest of the world, all while reducing the deficit by $1.2 trillion more than the President's budget request.

"Time and time again, the Republicans have displayed their willingness to sacrifice middle-class well-being for the benefit of the few. I have one question for my Republican colleagues -- when seniors' health benefits are no longer guaranteed and they cannot afford the care they need, do you expect millionaires to lend a helping hand?"