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In 2012, Will We Have a People's Budget or the Ryan Roadmap to Ruin?

Posted: 04/07/11 11:48 AM ET

Reps. Keith Ellison (DFL-Minn.) and Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) are the co-chairmen of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

After months of symbolic legislation aimed at pleasing its political base, the House Republican majority Tuesday unveiled its plan for America's future. Sadly -- but not surprisingly -- it looks a lot like the standard right-wing schemes that reward Wall Street while kicking more Americans out of the middle class.

In fact, this budget that punishes working families, while putting more of our tax dollars in the pockets of the rich, is nothing more than a Republican Roadmap to Ruin.

We know what happened during the 2000s, when Republicans failed to protect U.S. consumers, let Wall Street police itself and rigged the tax code in favor of a fortunate few. The Great Recession isn't a coincidence -- it's cause and effect.

What do we see after years of corporate handouts at the expense of working families? Millions of Americans have lost their jobs and can't find new ones. Millions of Americans have been kicked out of their homes. Americans who work hard every day and play by the rules can't afford to send their kids to college.

We see a generation of Americans reaching for the American dream but blocked by the growing wall between working families and wealthy elites.

The Republican budget is not a blueprint for an economy that lifts up Americans who work for a living. For working Americans, it's a proven Roadmap to Ruin.

As conceived by House Republican Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), this 2012 budget gouges away some of the most crucial protections and promises that America has made to its people.

The Ryan budget puts yet another brick in the wall between the haves and have-nots. It takes guaranteed health benefits from disabled and low-income Americans rather than lowering health care costs. It destroys Medicare as we know it, by turning America's promise of care for our seniors into "health vouchers" that leave our parents and grandparents at the mercy of insurance companies, who put profits before patients.

The Ryan roadmap blocks inroads to prosperity like Pell Grants, which make it possible for middle-class families to afford college. It strips away training for workers, who want to compete for the jobs of the future. Meanwhile, it creates more tax loopholes for corporations who ship jobs overseas.

As the co-chairmen of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, we stand for a budget that puts the American Dream back within reach for working families. We stand for the People's Budget.

We support a budget that puts America back to work. We support a plan that creates good-paying jobs rebuilding the roads and bridges that we cross going to work every day. We make sure that everyone pays their fair share, while ending wasteful defense contracts and costly wars. The People's Budget shuts down corporate giveaways that put small businesses and workers on an uneven playing field.

The alternative, we're sorry to say, is a road we've been down before.

 

Follow Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva on Twitter: www.twitter.com/RepRaulGrijalva