Potomac Fever is the blog of the Hamilton College Semester in Washington Program.
I think the author’s problems began with the first sentence. It should have read:“If hysteria and hyperbole could fix health care, we would be running record surpluses right now.”Once again, some conservative flack makes reference to welfare reform and attempts to convince gullible readers into thinking Ryan’s budget will be harmless. He ignores the incredibly strong economic boom that occurred afterwards (that was unconnected to the economically tiny welfare program but obviously impacted by the Clinton tax rates which… clearly didn’t hurt inhibit economic growth). He also ignores the expansion of the EITC, which merely replaced how many low-income Americans were receiving assistance. He ignores that welfare reform increased work, but did nothing to materially increase the living standards of the poor. He fails to point out that everyone knew what changes in AFDC were going to be made as part of welfare reform, but that Republicans have been remarkably quiet about what they’d do to reduce costs in Medicaid- a highly efficient program with lower administrative and overall costs than private health insurance, slower cost growth, that already relies heavily on private managed care and is already very flexible under current law. He ignores how Ryan proposes simultaneously cutting health insurance for over 30 million people, Pell Grants (by how much? TBD), low-income housing assistance (how much? TBD), food stamps by 20%, and Medicaid funding by 22%.He also ignores how Ryan bends the health care cost curve up, likely puts most of the government back to pre-World War II levels (unless Republicans suddenly change their entire party format and drastically cut defense), and extends the Bush tax cuts (cost: $4 trillion) while adding another $3 trillion tax cut in top rate reductions- to be paid for by… TBD.
Mentioning the name Paul Ryan to Mr. L is like waving a red flag at a bull.
What can I say, I like the facts. Something that seems to be in rare supply
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