Paul Ryan Admits the GOP Is Going to Slash Entitlements to Fund Tax Bill

The GOP’s trillion dollar tax cut will be paid for with Medicare cuts—and Trump’s apparently onboard.

Pete Marovich

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

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.

 

LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

Mother Jones did. We just merged with the Center for Investigative Reporting, bringing the radio show Reveal, the documentary film team CIR Studios, and Mother Jones together as one bigger, bolder investigative journalism nonprofit.

And this is the first time we’re asking you to support the new organization we’re building. In “Less Dreading, More Doing,” we lay it all out for you: why we merged, how we’re stronger together, why we’re optimistic about the work ahead, and why we need to raise the First $500,000 in online donations by June 22.

It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

payment methods

LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

Mother Jones did. We just merged with the Center for Investigative Reporting, bringing the radio show Reveal, the documentary film team CIR Studios, and Mother Jones together as one bigger, bolder investigative journalism nonprofit.

And this is the first time we’re asking you to support the new organization we’re building. In “Less Dreading, More Doing,” we lay it all out for you: why we merged, how we’re stronger together, why we’re optimistic about the work ahead, and why we need to raise the First $500,000 in online donations by June 22.

It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate