Tomorrow, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan will present his proposal to address poverty in the United States. We welcome any ideas that lift more Americans out of poverty and create pathways into the middle class, but we will oppose any plan that uses the sunny language of "reform" as a guise to cut vital safety-net programs.
Congress is now doing what it normally does, in an election year. This is not intended to sound cynical, as I actually think it is a good thing for a divided Congress to stand up for its divided beliefs -- even while knowing that almost none of the bills it now votes on have a prayer of becoming law before the election.
House Republicans will line up to pass the Ryan budget. At the same time, they will not even allow a vote on raising the minimum wage or extending unemployment benefits to the long-term unemployed. There are many things wrong with the Republican budget. Its austerity will cost jobs and cripple the economy. Its tax cuts will add to Gilded Age inequality. Its Big Oil agenda continues to ignore catastrophic climate change. Its numbers don't add up. Its claim to balance the budget in a decade depends on funny money -- assuming faster growth, keeping Obamacare's tax revenue while repealing its benefits, etc. But put the disagreements aside. Simply accept Republicans at their word: This is who they are.