The House of Representatives this afternoon approved the Republican budget plan authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) by a vote of 221–207, with 197 Democrats and 10 Republicans voting against it. Three Democrats and one Republican did not vote.
For the third consecutive year, the House GOP has approved a budget that ends the traditional guaranteed Medicare coverage for senior citizens, makes substantial cuts to poverty programs and the social safety net, and grants massive tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans. Recent analyses have shown that the budget plan’s tax reforms, which lower top tax rates to 25 percent, would give millionaires at least $200,000 in tax cuts. At the same time, it would slash the social safety net, targeting poverty programs for two-thirds of its cuts.
Though Ryan claims his budget would balance in 10 years, that is unlikely because he depends on fantasy levels of revenue and spending that are unlikely to be realized under his plan. The tax cuts, for instance, would reduce federal revenues by $5.7 trillion, making it virtually impossible to avoid adding to the deficit or debt without raising taxes on the middle class. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, in fact, found that the House GOP would have to raise taxes on the average middle class family by $3,000 to avoid adding to the deficit.
Before approving the GOP budget, the House voted down the Democratic budget offered by Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) that included stimulus spending to boost the economy and reduced the deficit by $1.7 trillion in part by closing tax loopholes that benefit the wealthy.