GOP Budget Committees Open Class Warfare on Poor and Middle Class
The House and Senate GOP budget committees fired the first salvo in the Republicans’ class warfare campaign late today when they adopted spending reduction plans that call for sharp cuts in domestic programs to pay for all of President Bush’s tax cuts. Acting as if the public sentiment against domestic spending cuts to pay for tax cuts didn’t exist, both Jim Nussle of Iowa and Don Nickles of Oklahoma rolled out plans for deep reductions in all programs except Social Security, homeland security, unemployment insurance, and the Pentagon.
But already House Ways and Means Committee chairman Bill Thomas, a Republican, is upset because the plan put forward by Nussle, who gained fame as the guy who put a bag over his head in the House chamber, would require sharp cuts in Medicare. Don’t these guys talk to each other?
Yet neither plan factors in the cost of the Iraq war and nationbuilding.
The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities has already done a quick analysis of the plans and comments:
The budget that House Budget Committee Chairman Jim Nussle unveiled today contains deep and widespread cuts in basic domestic programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, veterans programs, student loans, school lunches, child care, food stamps, cash assistance for the elderly and disabled poor, and many other programs. The budget would require Congressional committees to cut “mandatory” programs by $470 billion over the next ten years. If enacted, these would represent the deepest cuts in such programs in U.S. history.
“Class warfare turns out to be alive,” Center director Robert Greenstein commented. “It is a centerpiece of the Nussle budget, with deep budget cuts that could harshly affect the poor, the vulnerable, and many middle-class Americans, alongside lavish tax cuts for the nation’s richest individuals. With this budget, we would be marching down the path toward a new Gilded Age.”
“The Nussle budget serves one very useful purpose.” Greenstein added. “It shows that these large tax cuts aren’t free, and that at bottom, the issue is one of national priorities. This ought to trigger a national debate. Are tax cuts averaging $90,000 a year for millionaires so high a priority that we should cut health care programs, increase the ranks of the uninsured, reduce the cost or limit the availability of student loans, and increase hardship among the disabled, poor children, and others to free up room for massive tax cuts?”
And therein lies your campaign commercials that will allow the Democrats to hammer the GOP next year.