Robert Reich points out that, in announcing the Republicans’ new budget and tax plan Tuesday, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan said “We are sharpening the contrast between the path that we’re proposing and the path of debt and decline the president has placed us upon.” But the plan doesn’t do much to reduce the debt. Even by its own estimate the deficit would drop to $166 billion in 2018 and then begin growing again.
The real contrast is over what the plan does for the rich and what it does to everyone else. It reduces the top individual and corporate tax rates to 25 percent. This would give the wealthiest Americans an average tax cut of at least $150,000 a year. The money would come out of programs for the elderly, lower-middle families, and the poor. "So what’s the guiding principle here?" asks Reich. "Pure social Darwinism. Reward the rich and cut off the help to anyone who needs it.
Most Americans who do have jobs continue to lose ground. New research by professors Emmanual Saez and Thomas Pikkety show that the average adjusted gross income of the bottom 90 percent was $29,840 in 2010 — down $127 from 2009, down $4,842 from 2000, and just slightly more than $29,448 in 1966 (all figures adjusted for inflation). Ryan says too many Americans rely on government benefits. “We don’t want to turn the safety net into a hammock that lulls able-bodied people into lives of dependency.”
Well, I have new for Paul Ryan, says Robert Reich: Almost 23 million able-bodied people still can’t find work. They’re not being lulled into dependency. They and their families need help. Even if the economy continues to generate new jobs at the rate it’s been going the last three months, we wouldn’t see normal rates of unemployment until 2017.
I wish I could tell you that Ryan's Republicans made the most disturbing statement I've heard from Government officials recently – but they didn't. That honor goes to Obama's Attorney General, Eric Holder, who gave a lecture at Northwestern University outlining his three-part test for determining when it's "OK" to execute a US citizen without a trial. Steve Colbert explains it nicely: