The Paul Ryan 2012 budget bill and “Path to Prosperity” sailed through House Friday on Republican votes. The GOP plans to spend $3.5 trillion next year, down a whopping $30 billion from 2011 (about eight days of current war spending), by cutting food stamps and Medicaid for the poor, children and the disabled. The Republican bill will still require the Government to borrow more than 40 cents of every dollar spent.
The bill passed is part of the Republican “roadmap” to reduce the deficit by $4.4 trillion* over the next ten years, while:
- getting reelected;
- providing $2.9 trillion in tax cuts for their wealthiest supporters;
- gets rid of subsidies to develop alternative energy sources;
- raising taxes for those making $20,000 to $200,000 per year;
- repealing healthcare reform to make sure at least 52 million Americans are without health insurance;
- in 2022, freezing and privatizing Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP);
- and leaving it up to the states to deliver the bad news to our seniors, the disabled, children and the poor.
Except in calling for “reform,” the plan does leave Social Security intact, at least, so far** – and our seniors will need it. The average Social Security benefit for a retired worker is currently $14,124. In 2022, the additional out-of-pocket cost for Medicare will be $5,744. By 2030, it will increase to $8,833.
Of course, this assumes that a private health insurance company in 2022 will offer a policy to someone over 65 for $20,513. Best of luck with that — especially if by that time you have one of those pesky pre-existing conditions.