Before I get into the new Republican budget (it cuts taxes on the wealthy by almost 40%, greatly increases military spending, and just guts almost everything government does to help make our lives better — privatizes Medicare, does even less to maintain our infrastructure…) let’s look at how things are in America today. Watch this video describing America’s reality:
Here are some numbers from my post Nine Pictures Of The Extreme Income/Wealth Gap, (click through to see the nice pictures … private jets … yachts …)
Some Wall Street types (and others) make over a billion dollars a year – each year. How much is a billion dollars? How can you visualize an amount of money so high? Here is one way to think about it: The median income in the US is around $29,000, meaning half of us make less and half make more. If you make $29,000 a year, and don’t spend a single penny of it, it will take you 34,482 years to save a billion dollars. . . . (Please come back and read the rest of this after you have recovered.)
… 400 people have as much wealth as half of our population. The combined net worth of the Forbes 400 wealthiest Americans in 2007: $1.5 trillion. The combined net worth of the poorest 50% of American households: $1.6 trillion.
Corporate wealth is also personal wealth. When you hear about corporations doing well, think about this chart:
The top 1% also own 50.9% of all stocks, bonds, and mutual fund assets. The top 10% own 90.3%.
OK, that is the reality of America today.
Now, all of that said, here is a fast overview of the new Republican budget.
The New Republican Budget
From The Hill, Ryan budget slashes spending by $5.7T to reach 10-year balance,
The budget would increase defense spending compared to current law by $500 billion over 10 years and would cut the top individual tax rate from 39.6 percent to 25 percent…
… The details on both the spending and revenue side are sparse, with the chairman deferring to the committees of jurisdiction. For example, it does not spell out what tax breaks would be closed to lower tax rates without adding to the deficit.
Ryan’s budget cuts $1.5 trillion in discretionary spending compared to the CBO’s baseline, which assumes the 10 years of automatic spending cuts known as sequestration remain in effect.
It cuts nearly $1 trillion from “other mandatory” spending and counts $1.8 trillion in savings by repealing President Obama’s healthcare reform law, while keeping its cuts to Medicare for deficit reduction.
In addition to repealing the health care reform the Republican budget guts Medicaid, guts tuition assistance, guts public schools, lays off 10% of all federal workers, guts transportation, and guts everything else the government does, which increasing military spending by $500 billion and cutting taxes on the wealthy by almost 40%.
Now, back to reality…
About That “Balance”
Cutting government spending has never caused an economy to grow. And cutting government spending has always caused economies to shrink. The Republican budget’s plan to “balance” the budget assumes the opposite of this. In Europe this experiment has been tried, economies shrank, the shrinkage caused revenues to fall, and promises of prosperity and balance resulted in the opposite. Unemployment is approaching 26% in some of the countries that tried this experiment in cutting government.
But cutting government spending — the things We, the People do to make our lives better — does make the already-wealthy much wealthier.