Ryan budget: A nightmare in the making

As if conservative Supreme Court Justices laying plans to cut millions off of health insurance weren’t bad enough last week, House Republicans approved a budget that is far worse than any reasonable person could, up to now, have imagined would ever come out of a U.S. Congress.

Pink slime may be disgusting but, unlike Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) budget, at least it has some nutritional value, wrote New York Times columnist and Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman.

The Republican budget trumps anything that has ever come out of Congress first for its sheer cruelty and disregard for human suffering.

It slashes taxes for the rich and for corporations by huge amounts on top of the tax cuts they already wallow in as a result of handouts given them during the Bush years. It practically eliminates all help to the poor in terms of food and medical care. Then, on top of that, it claims that it will close the deficit but offers no proposal as to how that would be done. Whatever there is in the budget that would shrink the deficit is kept completely secret from the reader.

Krugman described the budget as a “throwback to the 19th century, when unregulated corporations bulked out their bread with plaster of paris and flavored their beer with sulfuric acid. Come to think of it, that’s precisely the policy era Ryan and his colleagues are trying to bring back,” he wrote.

James Surowiecki, who writes on the Financial Page of New Yorker Magazine, said the budget, under the guise of getting the nation’s finances under control, was an attempt to “repeal the twentieth century.”

Ryan’s claim that his budget reduces the deficit is an outright lie. It leaves wide open the biggest single tax loophole known to the rich and to the big corporations – the obscenely low tax on capital gains.

Ryan’s budget is also the height of hypocrisy. Over and over it speaks of the need for “efficiency” but it leaves untouched the bloated military budget that continues to drain the lifeblood of our country.

Ryan’s budget is, in fact, the perfect recipe to plunge the nation into a double dip recession, at the least, and, more likely, into a deep depression. Combine his budget with $1.3 trillion in automatic cuts next January that result from the last so-called bi-partisan disaster deal and with the scheduled expiration of President Obama’s middle class tax cuts and we could well expect a depression of unprecedented magnitude.

We will not wake up to the nightmare budget as long as Barack Obama is president of the United States. But is has been endorsed by the likely Republican candidate for the presidency, Mitt Romney. There is hardly a better reason to turn out full force for the 2012 elections – not just to re-elect the President but to defeat every single corporate-backed right-winger on Capitol Hill.

Photo: At a Hunger Action Network rally at the Capitol in Albany, N.Y. Mike Groll/AP