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Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA08): Republican Budget Seeks Radical Transformation Of American Society, Is “a blueprint for a dystopian hellscape”

"The contrast between the Democratic approach and this Republican budget could not possibly be clearer"

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From Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA08)’s office – everyone should pay attention to this and vote accordingly!

Dystopian Republican Budget Seeks Radical Transformation Of American Society

March 27, 2024 (Washington, D.C.) – Last week the Republican Study Committee (RSC) – the House GOP’s conference’s largest ideological conference, with 80 percent of House Republicans currently listed as members – issued a new budget for FY25 and beyond that called, among other things, for major changes and/or cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act. The full document, as outlined below, contains wide-ranging policy proposals that would result in the radical transformation of American society.

Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), Senior House Democrat on Congress’ Joint Economic Committee:

“The Republican Study Committee budget is a blueprint for a dystopian hellscape. The vision offered by this group, which counts 4 in 5 House Republicans as members, would see unbridled benefits flowing to a wealthy and well-connected few while tens of millions of Americans lose health care, housing, retirement security, and food security.

“Democrats believe there is a better way to get our fiscal house in order without betraying our values. That starts with making smart investments in our people and our future while demanding that the rich and large corporations pay their fair share in taxes. The contrast between the Democratic approach and this Republican budget could not possibly be clearer.”

Some of the changes proposed by the RSC budget:

Drastic cuts to Americans’ health care

The RSC budget would dramatically weaken health care in the United States with major cuts and changes to key programs, including proposals that would:

  • Turn Medicare into a voucher plan, eliminating seniors’ coverage guarantee (p. 100);
  • Raise Medicare costs for beneficiaries by repealing Inflation Reduction Act provisions allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, and by repealing caps on insulin prices and out-of-pocket drug expenses for seniors (p. 92);
  • End key Affordable Care Act protections for people with pre-existing conditions, allowing insurance companies to discriminate against patients (p. 89);
  • Repeal tax subsidies for Affordable Care Act exchanges, imperiling health care coverage for tens of millions of Americans covered by the ACA and Medicaid (p. 88); and
  • Transform Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) into block grants to states, eliminating coverage and cutting benefits millions of Americans rely on, in particular low-income families and children (p. 94).

Wide-ranging attacks on reproductive rights

The RSC budget endorses numerous pieces of legislation to restrict or ban reproductive rights, including bills that would:

  • Ban abortion nationwide without exception (p. 75);
  • Ban abortions for active duty servicemembers and veterans (pp. 75-76);
  • “Provide 14th amendment protections” to all “human embryos” without exception, effectively banning access to in vitro fertilization (p. 75);
  • Ban safe abortion pills including mifepristone (p. 75); and
  • Make huge cuts to federal funding for contraception (pp. 75-76).

Cutting Social Security and gutting the social safety net

The RSC budget would cut Social Security and devastate programs and services that low-income Americans depend on for food and housing:

  • Raises the retirement age for Social Security, a benefit cut for Americans currently in the workforce (p. 109);
  • Makes huge cuts to nutrition programs that feed low-income Americans, particularly children, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program, Summer Food Service Program, and Special Milk Program (pp. 40-46); and
  • Increases housing costs by slashing funding for affordable housing (p.44).

Cutting taxes for the wealthy, by a lot

Most Americans would see draconian cuts if the proposals in the RSC budget were enacted, but the wealthy and large corporations would do extremely well under the budget’s tax proposals:

  • Making the Trump tax cuts for individuals permanent, lowering taxes for millionaires and billionaires compared to current law (p. 29). CBO estimates this would cost $1.8 trillion.
  • Further cutting taxes for the wealthy by indexing capital gains taxes to inflation (p.31), estimated to cost $100-200 billion over a decade with 86 percent of benefits flowing to the wealthiest 1 percent of households;
  • Permanently repealing the estate tax, giving a tax break that would only benefit individuals with net worth over $13.6 million, with a cost that CBO estimates will rise to nearly $50 billion per year by 2031.
  • Repealing the Inflation Reduction Act’s corporate alternative minimum tax (CAMT), allowing the largest corporations to effectively pay little or no federal taxes (p. 27). CBO estimates the CAMT will yield $222 billion over the decade following its passage.
  • Eliminating IRS funding for increased tax enforcement intended to prevent the wealthy from avoiding paying their fair share of taxes (p. 27). The IRS projects that these investments will yield hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue over the coming decade.

Weaken public health, public safety, and environmental protections

The RSC budget proposes cuts that would do deep and lasting harm to public health and safety, in addition to the grievous economic damage felt keenly in red states:

  • Eliminates green tax credits from the Inflation Reduction Act (p. 33) and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (pp.169-170), which particularly benefit communities in red states. Also eliminates funding for mass transit (p. 138) and other transportation and infrastructure investments that improve air quality and public health (pp. 138-139);
  • Reduces funding for local law enforcement agencies by cutting Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) funding for American communities (p. 148); and
  • Repeals funding for the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, increasing the risk of death from suicide, homicide, and accidents in American communities (p. 79). Also includes gun deregulation proposals that make it easier for dangerous persons to acquire firearms (p. 79).
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