Statement on Rep. Paul Ryan’s 2014 Budget Proposal
By Mel Fabrikant Thursday, March 14, 2013, 06:59 PM EDT
House Budget Chairman, Rep. Paul Ryan introduced his 10-year budget proposal in the House of Representatives today. The plan is effectively identical to last year’s Republican budget: It defunds President Obama’s health-care law, and ends guaranteed Medicare coverage for future retirees and decreases spending in low-income communities. The following are statements from the founding co-directors of Social Security Works and the co-chairs of the Strengthen Social Security Campaign:
“Far from making bold choices about our future, Rep. Ryan uses his budget to carry out an assault on the health and retirement security of America’s families. He proposes that Social Security be subject to extraordinary rules, known as ‘fast tracking.’ This destructive rule change is unprecedented in Social Security's 77 year history. Even when Social Security faced larger and more immediate projected shortfalls than it does today, Congress amended Social Security through the normal legislative process where the American people could watch and make their views known. Fast tracking Social Security is simply a way to force into law unpopular changes that the majority of Americans reject. It is at odds with our democracy.
The vast majority of Ryan's budget cuts simply shift health care costs from the government's balance sheet onto the backs of low- and middle-income families, people with disabilities, seniors and others least able to afford those costs. This budget ignores the truly hard choices that can improve our economy like job creation, middle class investments, reducing (rather than shifting) out-of-control health care costs, and promoting fair tax policies. Our Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security systems are not only vitally important to the economic security of America’s workers and retirees, they are efficient, and wildly popular nationwide. In short, they work. They should be strengthened, not cut.”
-Nancy Altman, founding co-director of Social Security Works-
“Congressman Ryan has introduced the same rehashed budget proposal from last year. He claims he wants to get the deficit under control, but he appears to want to undo Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid by stealth. If he were truly interested in reducing the nation's deficit, he would propose that the wealthiest among us pay their fair share. He would propose that Medicare have the power to negotiate for fair drug prices as the Veteran's Administration does. He would leave Social Security alone since it does not add a penny to the nation's deficit and so has no part in the discussion. Though he claims his concern is to reduce the deficit, his true motive -- to dismantle Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid brick by brick -- is apparent.”
-Eric Kingson, co-chair of the Strengthen Social Security Coalition-