Elections Social Safety Net WTF?!

WATCH: Blackburn Says GOP Will Only Take Social Security Away From Those Who Don’t ‘Deserve’ It

If perhaps you were worried that Republicans, having blown a $1.5 trillion hole in the national debt, would now be looking to cut social safety net programs — Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps — GOP Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (TN) has some good news for you worry warts: She and her colleagues only plan to cut the benefits of those who don’t deserve them.

Appearing on the Fox News show Sunday Morning FuturesBlackburn commented:

“We’re not talking about taking away benefits from those who deserve those benefits.”

Of course, Blackburn didn’t bother to explain how who is deserving would be determined, but knowing the minds of most Republicans, it’s safe to assume they would do so in a less than equitable or generous manner.

Addressing Medicare and Medicaid, Blackburn added:

“The goal is to make certain that those who deserve and need those benefits get everything that they’re entitled to. You do it by making the system more efficient, by innovating, utilizing healthcare technology.”

Imagine how efficient the system would be if the GOP managed to privatize both Medicare and Medicaid while also cutting millions of people off the rolls! Then they could truly realize their Ayn Randian wet dream of every American being on his or her own, with no assistance from the government. How glorious that would be! Paul Ryan has been plotting it since his college days, and he’s oh so close to making it a reality.

Ryan has called for entitlement reform, which is another way of saying slashing the safety net, in the 2018 Congress, but Senate Republicans appear to be cool to the idea, understanding that taking things away from voters in an election year can often be political suicide.

So, if you were wondering what the next move by the GOP would be, hold on to your wallet, because they’re getting ready to pick your pocket and kick you to the curb so they can make their rich campaign donors even wealthier.


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Bernie Sanders Calls Out The GOP For Their 2016 Budget Proposal

Senator Bernie Sanders took one look at the latest budget proposal from Congressional Republicans and immediately said what needed to be said by every Democrat in the country: The GOP will not be happy until the wealthiest Americans have even more money.

Sanders, during a meeting of the Senate Budget Committee Tuesday, excoriated the GOP for their plans to make more cuts to the social safety net while giving tax breaks to the top 1 percent:

“At a time of massive wealth and income inequality, my Republican colleagues apparently believe that the richest people in this country need to be made even richer. It is apparently not good enough that 99 percent of all new income today is going to the top 1 percent. It is not good enough that the top one-tenth of 1 percent today own almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent.”

Yep, it’s business as usual for the Republican Party in Congress. They seem destined to defend the interests of the super rich while watching the rest of America fall further and further behind. Is it any wonder the GOP sees its approval ratings hovering around 12 percent in most polls?

In addition to the cuts in programs such a food stamps and Medicaid, the Republican budget being floated by Senate GOP leaders also would eliminate the subsidies for health-care reform–aka Obamacare–which would result in millions of Americans losing their health insurance. Sanders noted that the Republicans have only one motive in their budget proposal: cuts, cuts, and more cuts. And he added their budget rewards those who have already gotten more than their share:

“It is not good enough that corporate America is enjoying record-breaking profits, and that the CEOs of large corporations earn some 290 times more than what their average employees earn. It is apparently not good enough that since 1985 the top one-tenth of 1 percent has seen a more than $8 trillion increase in its wealth than what they would have had if wealth inequality had stayed at the same level that it was in 1985. An $8 trillion increase in the wealth of the top one-tenth of 1 percent! But for many of my Republican colleagues, [it’s] just not good enough.”

GOP Senator Mike Enzi, Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, attempted to defend the Republican proposal, but his defense sounded like nothing more than the same old talking points from the right side of the Senate aisle:

“The resolution that we will be debating this week and next is a responsible plan that balances the budget in 10 years, with no tax hikes. It also protects our most vulnerable citizens, strengthens our national defense and improves economic growth and opportunities for hardworking families.”

And he managed to say that with a straight face! Senator Enzi must be a formidable poker player.

Independent Senator Angus King of Maine agreed with Sanders that all the GOP has in its playbook is cuts:

“Growing the economy is the answer, but a one-sided response to say we’re only going to grow the economy by cutting taxes–number one, I don’t think there’s evidence to validate that, and number two, it ignores the power of appropriate investments in infrastructure, education…those things that actually do grow the economy.”

Meanwhile, the Republicans look for more things to cut and more tax breaks to offer to those who have no need of them. It’s a bit like watching a man polish a Rolls Royce with the shirt off the back of a starving child.

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