September 23, 2014
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What GOP is really saying: ‘More for richest, less for rest’

To the Editor:

Conservatives lost the election but think the problem was everywhere but in their ideas. Now they are again talking about the Ryan budget. It's their path to fiscal solvency: give more tax breaks to the wealthiest few, gut programs for middle and lower income people.
The Congressional Budget Office reported that if the Ryan budget were adopted, by the year 2050, once Medicare, Social Security and the Children's Health Insurance Program were funded, there would only be 4 percent of our gross domestic product left for everything else including – and this is important – the military.
Since there has never been a time in recent history when the military budget was less than 3 percent of GDP and Republicans want to increase military spending, that means that there would not be a single federal program in existence other than the military and the three just mentioned. There would be no FBI, no Food and Drug Administration, no food and water safety programs, no Federal Aviation Administration, no Agriculture Department, no FEMA to handle disasters, no veterans benefits paid, no highway funds, no money for research and development, no boarder patrols, no national parks – nothing at all because the budget has no money for them.
This is hardly Democratic demagoguery, as some have said, but the actual analysis by the Congressional Budget Office and supported by the words of one of the most influential lobbyists in Washington on behalf of Conservative causes, Grover Norquist.
Norquist gave away the plan several years ago when he said, “I don't want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.” The analysis by Congressional Budget Office indicates the Ryan budget does just that, and most Republicans have signed on to it.
It gets worse.
Altogether, the Ryan tax plan proposes nearly $10 trillion in tax cuts for the wealthiest few over the next 10 years. The Brookings Tax Policy Center estimates that the average person making $1 million or more each year would receive an average of $275,000 in tax breaks. That's on top of the $127,000 given to them by the Bush tax cuts, which Republicans want to make permanent.
Ryan and his supporters claim that the richest few will be paying more because they intend to close various loopholes, but in fact neither Ryan nor any of his supporters ever identified a single specific loophole they would close. And they have rejected the possibility of closing the single most important tax loophole that the richest few enjoy the most: the lower tax rate for capital gains and dividends.
Even now they refuse to allow 98 percent of the people to have a tax cut if the other 2 percent are forced to pay 3 percent more on income over $250,000. For someone making $300,000 that's a mere $1,500 more per year! Hardly the class envy and attack on the rich they would have you believe.
Republicans will never say, “Vote for us! We favor giving more money to the richest few and austerity for the rest,” but that is exactly what they want and nothing shows it as clearly as their enthusiasm for the Ryan budget.
The real value of the Ryan plan is that it finally shows the Republicans for the party they are. Hopefully, the American public will soon understand.

Charles Lawrence
Johnston
Vietnam Era Vet






Comments
4 comments on this item

yeah the GOP are evil. Only taking care of their own, screw every one else. The Democrats may spend money but at least they spend it on people and not the 1%. I wish the national debt wasn't so high, and I'd like to see people go back to work and not sit at home collecting and playing video games but the fat ceo's making multi millions is disgusting while their employees are scratching to make ends meet....

Lawrence and Sapatoni know economics about as well as... Gov. Gump...that's worked out well so far. Regarding the CBO and Brookings Institute as some sort of paragon of virtue and truth ...THE CBO, Charlie, gets to generate numbers supplied to it by....CONGRESS! Get it! Must be the auto fluff.

MIke have you changed parties yet? Your a Democratic lite so just change parties and get it over with..

I agree with Mr. Lawrence. Higher income taxes on the affluent are needed, as is a national sales tax to fund programs to benefit multi-generational welfare. In addition, increase taxes on capital gains and dividends. At the same time, we need to make it easier and less stigmatizing to access government assistance. Oh wait, we already have that model. It's called the State of Rhode Island. You know, the only state in the east that lost population in the last ten years. See, people of means have options. And they vote with their veet.

Not that RI would ever embrace a modicum of sanity, but how about this: A national flat income tax of, say, 18%. Eliminate most deductions, including the mortgage interest deduction, and replace it with a home equity tax credit; the more equity the bigger the credit. Such a measure would incentivize equity instead of debt. Eliminate the federal departments of education, energy, and commerce and reduce Section 8 housing, food stamps, and medicaid by 10%. Reduce the military budget by 5%. Eliminate all ESL programs. Tax capital gains at 0% for those families who make under $250k, and 10% for those who make over that. Don't forget, if you want more of something (e.g. poverty) subsidize it. If you want less of something (e.g. prosperity), tax it. Freeze all federal hiring, and implement rigid work requirements for all recipients of welfare. Do this only if you are prepared to see equity markets (aka your retirement account and pension funds) skyrocket. Then again, this is RI, where we'd much rather rely on government than ourselves.

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