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Paul Ryan: Budgeting For the 1%

March 28, 2012

I’d hate for Paul Ryan to think I was picking on him today, but what the heck – let’s pile on a little more. We’ve already talked today about Ryan’s bait and switch on tax expenditures. Now let’s look a little deeper.

Another Quarter-Million for Millionaires Under Ryan Tax PlanDespite talk of balancing the budget and reducing the deficit, Ryan’s goal in eliminating tax expenditures is not to bring in more revenue so that we can pay our bills. Instead, the ‘close the loopholes’ move is a pretext to justify lowering tax rates.

First, Ryan tries a little slight-of-hand to convince us to give up the tax breaks which benefit most Americans. Then, he goes for the  big score: tax cuts. But tax cuts for whom? (See chart at right.) That’s right, 37% of Ryan’s tax cuts would go to those making more than $1 million per year. Just to make that clear: that would be 37% of the benefits going to less than one half of one percent of the population.

Now you may be asking yourself how Ryan plans to rein in the debt and deficit with policies like these. Oh, that’s simple:

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget plan would get at least 62 percent of its $5.3 trillion in nondefense budget cuts over ten years (relative to a continuation of current policies) from programs that serve people of limited means. This stands a core principle of President Obama’s fiscal commission on its head and violates basic principles of fairness.

Where Ryan Cuts

Yep. We can’t afford food stamps, job training or Pell grants for college, but we can afford another quarter million dollar tax cut for millionaires (on top of  Ryan’s planned extension of the Bush tax cuts.)

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