Where Would Paul Ryan’s Path to Prosperity Take Us?

By Richard Thayer

Despite the fact that the majority of Americans are adamantly opposed to the Paul Ryan budget plan (The Path to Prosperity?), doesn’t seem to be deterring Republicans from pursuing it to the bitter end. Bitter for them, sweet for Democrats in next year’s elections.

Why on earth do you suppose so many of America’s citizens don’t want what the Republicans are peddling? It’s a great plan, right? It is, as the name would imply, the path to prosperity. So what’s the problem?

As it turns out, the path to prosperity that Ryan is constructing is for the wealthy, not for the middle and lower classes.

Here are just a few of the things the Ryan plan would do if it were to ever pass:

1. It would force at least 15 million Americans off of Medicaid nationwide.

2. It would literally take food out of the mouths of hungry children by cutting food assistance and other vital services for low-income families. Funding for elementary and secondary schools would be cut by 25 percent.

3. Health care costs for seniors on Medicare would more than double because costs would be shifted onto seniors rather than being cut. By 2022 the average 65-year-old would spend $6,359 more per year out of pocket for health care because Medicare’s promise would be replaced with underfunded vouchers.

4. $4.2 trillion in new tax cuts would be handed out to corporations and the rich.

5. More than 8 million college students would lose access to the federal aid that helps them pay for school.

6. Rather than create jobs, as the Republicans promised they would do if elected in 2010, the Ryan bill would actually eliminate between 1.7 million and 2.2 million jobs over the next two years.

Robert Greenstein of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities says of the bill: it “would produce the largest redistribution of income from the bottom to the top in modern U.S. history, while increasing poverty and inequality more than any measure in recent times and possibly in the nation’s history.”

And says Bob Casey (D-Pa), chairman of Congress’s Joint Economic Committee, “If Republicans have their way, traditional Medicare will no longer exist in 2022. Instead, our elderly will get a voucher to purchase private insurance, but the voucher won’t keep pace with health care costs. The result would be a staggering increase in out-of-pocket costs beginning in 2022. Our elderly Americans cannot afford to have their health care expenses double, but that’s exactly what the Republican plan delivers.”

And wouldn’t you know that Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina was one of the 40 senators who voted last week for the Ryan plan, a plan that would make the rich even richer and the sick, sicker. Fortunately, the bill was soundly defeated in the Senate by a vote of 40 to 57.

You may contact Senator Burr and tell him what you think of his vote by going here.


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