House Republicans will today finalize their deficit reduction plans as required under the Budget Control Act, the deal reached last August to raise the nation’s debt ceiling. The deal required cuts to both domestic discretionary and military spending, but the GOP quickly reneged on that plan, choosing to cut more from programs for the poor to preserve the nation’s bloated defense budget.
Under the Republican plan, millions of Americans would lose access to services they depend on. Nearly two million would lose food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); at least 750,000 would lose access to health insurance from cuts to Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act; and 23 million would be affected by the repeal of the Social Services Block Grant, which helps fund child care and disability assistance to low-income Americans, among other programs.
As the following graphic shows, however, the GOP’s deficit reduction hysteria is little more than an effort to gut social programs while protecting massive tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans:
The number of Americans affected by the Republican cuts is actually higher than the graphic shows. While the GOP plan kicks 2 million people off of food assistance, all 47 million who receive SNAP payments will see reductions in benefits. The estimated number who will lose health insurance under the Republican plan is likely higher, and the number of Americans affected by the repeal of the Prevention and Public Health Fund is unknown. Cuts to financial regulatory agencies like the CFPB will also affect an untold number of Americans.
While Republicans push these cuts in the name of righting America’s balance sheet and staving off a debt crisis, their efforts are miniscule compared to their push to extend budget busting tax cuts for the rich. By promising last week that they will offer a full extension of the Bush tax cuts — at a 10-year cost of $2.4 trillion — without offsetting the cost, GOP leaders assured Americans that their deficit-reduction efforts will never be achieved.