Last week, the Senate passed a “tax reform” bill that costs over $1 trillion dollars and almost entirely benefits the rich, while tossing the poor and middle class a sack of nickels, some old NOW CDs, and an expired payday-lender discount code (basically). This week the man who leads the other chamber of Congress gave the world a preview of what’s up next on the agenda:
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) said Wednesday that congressional Republicans will aim next year to reduce spending on both federal health care and anti-poverty programs, citing the need to reduce America’s deficit.
“We’re going to have to get back next year at entitlement reform, which is how you tackle the debt and the deficit,” Ryan said during an appearance on Ross Kaminsky’s talk radio show. “… Frankly, it’s the health care entitlements that are the big drivers of our debt, so we spend more time on the health care entitlements — because that’s really where the problem lies, fiscally speaking.”
Paul Ryan has dreamed of destroying Medicaid since he was a frat boy in college, so this really is no surprise. Indeed, as my colleague Noah Lanard noted earlier this year:
“We’re just going to keep going at entitlement reform all the way down the road,” Ryan told Fox News’ Chris Wallace. Ryan said that will mean revisiting a 2017 House Budget proposal that would have decreased Medicare funding by almost $50 billion per year. Overall, Ryan’s budget would cut funding for programs that help working-class Americans by $2.9 trillion over the next decade.
But the speaker of the House isn’t alone! According to Ryan, Donald Trump, who insisted endlessly that he would not cut entitles if elected president, also wants to cut entitlements. “I think the president is understanding that choice and competition works everywhere in health care, especially in Medicare,” Ryan said.
We all knew Republicans were going to cut programs for the poor and elderly to fund tax cuts for the rich. Now we know they’re willing to admit it.