The WONKBLOG makes a curious observation about Paul Ryan’s new budget plan. It points out, in many ways, the plan panders to those who tend to vote Republican. Most obviously he drastically cuts taxes for the wealthy, the heart of the Republican Party. Now, let’s look at what cuts he makes in order to pay for those tax cuts.
We see he makes cuts to Medicare, but not nearly as much as he cuts Medicaid. Not surprising because Medicare benefits the elderly, who tend to vote Republican, and Medicaid benefits the young and the poor, who tend to vote Democrat.
Second, he changes nothing with Social Security because everyone knows that is political suicide. Even though Ryan continually says his plan is about making tough decisions, I guess it’s only tough decisions that won’t adversely affect his voter base.
Finally, we have everything else. This includes, as you might guess, a lot of the programs on which poor people rely. Things like food stamps, federal housing, and the earned-income tax credit will all be cut under Ryan’s plan.
The ‘everything else’ category would be lower if defense spending stayed constant, however; Ryan increases it by $200 billion. This just illustrates how many areas of our economy will be cut to make up for the lost revenue from his drastic tax cuts.
He cuts taxes for the wealthy and pays for it by cutting programs for the poor. Basically taking from those who do not vote for him and giving it to those who do.
Well sort of…
A portion of the plan does pander to the traditional Republican base: the rich, the elderly and those fed up with the welfare state. But there is a large part of the Republican base who benefits from a lot of the programs Ryan plans to cut. These are the people who curse government; yet welcome their government handouts each month. They continue to vote Republican (and against their interest) because they don’t care about fiscal responsibility as much as they care about God and guns. But I wonder if those checks stopped coming would they still cling to their values as the most important issue? I wonder if Republicans really got their way if it is possible there would be a massive Republican to Democrat conversion? It’s easy for those who vote for values to abhor the welfare state as long as they continue to get their checks, but maybe once the money stops flowing they will realize their interests lie on the other side of the political spectrum.