Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) has put forward a plan to cut $4 trillion over 10 years through privatizing Medicare, ending Medicaid and capping discretionary spending–all without cutting taxes. In fact, it would reduce the top tax rate from 35% to 25%. The Ryan plan, then, has all the hallmarks of Republican economic schemes: cut programs for the middle and lower classes and shift the savings to the wealthy. After his introduction, Lawrence O’Donnell speaks to Robert Greenstein of the Center on Budget & Policy Priorities about the inequities of the Ryan plan:
GREENSTEIN: [The Ryan plan] is by far the most radical and extreme budget plan I’ve ever seen. It dramatically cuts health care funding for low and moderate income people through Medicaid and Medicare. It effectively would lead over time to rationing of health care by income yet at the same time it does that, it makes permanent all of the Bush tax cuts for people at the very top of the income scale. That’s an average tax cut of $125,000 a year for people who make over $1 million a year. Over a decade, people that are millionaires get a million dollars in tax cuts while low-income children, seniors and people with sever disabilities lose basic health care. It’s extraordinary.
…Does the Ryan plan get a dollar for deficit reduction from closing egregious tax breaks for oil companies or corporations that ship jobs overseas or Wall Street traders who manipulate the rules to pay taxes at lower rates than you or I do? …They just slash Medicare and Medicaid. …People on Medicare who have modest incomes and elderly widows at $15,000 to $20,000 a year and poor children on Medicaid, they would be out of luck.