House Republicans officially passed Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) radical budget yesterday without a single Democratic vote. Today, during an interview on Fox and Friends, Ryan was asked by Fox’s Steve Doocy whether anybody is “getting shortchanged” by the budget. Ryan, of course, neglected to mention those who would inevitably be harmed by his eviscerating of the social safety net, pointing only to federal employees who would see their pay cut:
DOOCY: But is somebody, is anybody getting shortchanged with the big cuts you’re making?
RYAN: Well, to me it’s more than a campaign document, it’s a governing document. It’s showing the country specifically how we can save and strengthen Medicare, how we can get our budget balanced and our debt paid off, and how we can grow our economy. Yeah, we’re cutting $5.3 trillion out of the President’s budget. We’re cutting every government agency, we’re taking money out of every government agency because we have to make them do more with less, we’re cutting federal pay, we’re cutting federal employee workforce, we’re restrengthening and restructuring the safety net so that we get people back to work, on their feet instead of having a welfare state. So we’re cutting all over the place.
To hear Ryan tell it, no one will be hurt by the budget except federal employees, because agencies will magically be able to “do more with less.” But here’s what Ryan’s budget would actually do in practice:
– Eliminate food assistance for eight million low-income Americans.
— Eliminate Pell Grants for more than one million low-income students.
— Increase health care costs for seniors by $5,900 per year.
— Cause 47 million Americans to lose their health insurance in ten years.
Overall, 62 percent of the cuts in Ryan’s budget come directly from programs that aid low-income Americans, while non-defense discretionary spending, which encompasses everything from food inspection and education to veterans benefits, would fall to its lowest level in 50 years. But perhaps Ryan doesn’t consider any of this being “shortchanged.”