On Monday, House Democrats unveiled their $3.7 trillion budget for the upcoming year. The budget stands in stark contrast to the Republican budget released last week, which showers millionaires and large corporations with tax cuts and giveaways, while gutting the nation’s social safety net.
The budget, proposed by Rep. Chris Van Hollen, includes President Obama’s proposed $1.8 trillion tax increases on the wealthy, protects social safety nets and leaves the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) intact. While Democrats realize that cutting programs like food stamps and Medicaid would only hurt the working poor; The GOP could care less. Their budget would convert those benefits to block grants given over to state control. Small wonder that the vast majority of social safety net funds go to states with Republican governors; not only is it their own citizens who are in need, but what’s the chance of them ever seeing those benefits should the Republican get their way? Just proves once again that Republicans are pro-life only up until the point babies are born; then they are perfectly comfortable with letting kids starve and go without proper healthcare.
Rep. Van Hollen’s budget also proposes significant investment into America’s future with increase in spending for early childhood education, college affordability, environmental protection, and renovating our transportation infrastructure. While the proposal would increase the deficit from $378 billion to $717 billion by 2025 and the national debt would go from $19 trillion to $25 trillion in a decade, all of the money would be well spent. The GOP claims that their budget would balance the deficit, but only if they make deep cuts to every program meant to help Americans. Their budget also makes use of the tax revenue collected from the Affordable Care Act. Funny they claim to despise the law, but they are perfectly comfortable using the revenue it generates, isn’t it?
The Republican party is only concerned with catering to the rich and they seem willing to stomp all over the rest of America to do that. Their budget hurts everyone except the one percent, and the hardship caused by cutting social benefits will hit hardest on women, children, and veterans. It does nothing to lift people out of poverty, it won’t create jobs, and it continues to let wealthy, greedy corporations get by without paying their fair share.
The budget proposed by Democrats is unlikely to pass, because the GOP would never go for something that makes sense and helps the country. Democrats are showing America that they are party who cares about their well-being. The GOP likes to stand on podiums and declare their love for this country and its citizens, but their budget proves otherwise.
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.