The House Republican budget, authored by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), gets 62 percent of its budget cuts from programs that benefit low-income Americans and would boot millions off of food stamps. In addition, Medicare, Medicaid, Pell Grants, and job training programs would face cuts, all while millionaires receive a tax break.
Those spending cuts would further crimp federally-funded programs in cities and towns across the country that are already struggling due to the GOP’s austerity ideology. And Ryan’s own hometown, Janesville, Wisconsin, hasn’t been spared, leading some local residents to wonder “if he remembers where he came from,” Reuters reports:
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development had clawed back $344,000 from the city’s affordable-housing fund, so the Janesville Community Development Authority voted to drain its reserves to keep its 525 families in the program.
The city won’t have to put anybody out on the street, probably. But there is no cushion left.
There’s less money for job training, health clinics and the food bank; higher property taxes and higher car fees; larger school class sizes, crumbling roads, fewer firefighters.
The GOP’s spending cuts are jeopardizing projects to widen Interstate 90, which cuts through the district, and improve runways at the local airport, both of which rely on federal money. One in five students at a local technical college, where many laid-off workers have entered a re-training program, rely on federal loans. His Medicaid cuts would “strain local hospitals,” and federal job training funds are scheduled to drop 6 percent to 12 percent this year. Janesville’s federally-funded rental assistance program, meanwhile, has already quit accepting new applicants.
Ryan, however, doesn’t seem to have much sympathy for his struggling constituents. Last April, he was jeered by constituents for giving tax breaks to the wealthy while cutting spending, and in October, he told a local college student who depended on Pell Grants that he should work three jobs instead of depending on the federal program.