Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
The Republican leadership's insane clown posse finally released its GOP's budget report (PDF) today, on April Fool's Day no less, following their fiasco of a press conference last week (the comedy just writes itself with this gang who couldn't shoot straight).
I have quickly read through the GOP plan – easy to do because it is largely repetitious conservative ideological talking points without a single "new" idea that we have not already heard before. It is just in a "new and improved" package for marketing purposes.
"The GOP plan calls for a Herbert Hoover style spending freeze. This was an asinine idea when John McCain pushed it last year, and it was disastrous when Herbert Hoover helped plunge America into the Great Depression." (h/t to GOP “Budget” Shows Us: They’re Not Serious | Oliver Willis). "The GOP has also added a new wrinkle: paying for the tax cuts with a five-year spending freeze on all non-defense and veteran’s health care funding." Wonk Room » Republican Budget Calls For Five Year Spending Freeze
The GOP plan further calls for the repeal of any stimulus spending beyond this year (the Arizona Legislature may want to pay attention to this in drafting its 2010 budget -the national GOP is an unreliable partner). This really is the party of Herbert Hoover.
The GOP plan makes the Bush tax cuts permanent and calls for a "simplified tax" structure, proposing to eliminate all tax deductions, exclusions and credits in favor of a two-tier tax rate system: 10% on adjusted gross income (AGI) for joint filers up to $100,000, and $50,000 for single filers; the tax rate jumps to 25% over these income amounts (to be adjusted annually for inflation). It would increase the amount of the standard deduction and personal exemption (up to $39,000). The corporate tax rate would be reduced to 25%.
What would be the overall effect of this proposal? Middle Class taxpayers would wind up paying more in income taxes, while the wealthy in the upper income tax brackets would enjoy a tax cut windfall. Two-thirds of corporations do not pay any income taxes now. The overall net effect would be to make the national deficit grow even larger while the GOP continues to have faith in its "trickle down" economics that has failed so miserably. The GOP's war against the Middle Class continues unabated.
The GOP plan proposes to privatize Medicare for those under 55 who are not in the current program: "The substitute gradually converts the current medicare program into one in which Medicare beneficiaries choose the most affordable coverage that best suits their individual needs." Republicans: Let's Privatize Medicare! Medicaid would be converted "into an allotment tailored for each state's low-income population to allow States to offer their Medicaid populations more options." Read: reduced health care benefits for the poor.
The GOP plan also engages in some "worst case scenario" fear mongering over the pending "insolvency" of Social Security to advance its "reform" plan. The numbers cited have been disputed by many economists in the past. With all of the current heated rhetoric coming out of the GOP about "socialism," I find it most ironic that the GOP plan says it wants to "strengthen Social Security" so that "the legacy envisioned by President Roosevelt must be completed without bankrupting future workers." These same Republicans who hated FDR and called him a "socialist" because of Social Security now are concerned about his legacy? I smell a rat.
The GOP's energy policy is essentially last year's "drill baby drill!," the fraudulent concept of "clean coal," and more nuclear power. Renewable energy technologies get an honorable mention only as an afterthought. The GOP, of course, wants to reduce taxes on its friends in the oil and gas industry (who last year shattered all records for corporate profits).
Overall, there is nothing new in the GOP plan that the American people did not already consider from John McCain during the 2008 election and resoundingly rejected. Are they just hoping for a different result now?
The GOP leadership's insane clown posse should pile into its crazy clown car and just get the hell out of town. (h/t chooney.com picturs for the clown car pic – see if you can identify the world's most famous clowns)