The GOP’S Reverse Robin Hood

Congress is getting ready to rumble over budget funding. The federal government brings in approximately $3.3 trillion in tax revenue yearly, and Congress has nearly as many ideas on how to spend the cash. The Republican-controlled Congress has flipped the script on Robin Hood, proposing massive cuts to federal programs that serve the poor in order to afford tax cuts that prop up the most prosperous Americans.

Representatives in Congress are currently in conference working out their differences on the GOP tax bill.  The plan gives a little over $1 trillion in tax cuts to corporations and wealthy individuals. To learn more about the inner workings of the law check out our piece, GOP Tax Policy: An Elitist Plan For A Working Class America.

While Republicans work overtime to pass their tax bill and put a bow on a tax cut package for their big donors by Christmas, they have allowed the Children’s Health Insurance Program Aka CHIP to expire. CHIP provides health coverage for nearly 9 million low-income children. The program has enjoyed bipartisan support since its inception in 1997, which is why even in this year of improbable endings; its lapse in funding defies logic. Republicans are holding children’s health care hostage in their winner take all tax cut battle for millionaires and billionaires.

Senator Orrin Hatch gave the ballgame away when he said, “we’re gonna do CHIP. There’s no question about it in my mind, and it’s gotta be done the right way. The reason Chip’s having trouble is we don’t have any money anymore.” The thing is the government has the money; Republicans are just spending a trillion dollars of it on tax cuts for the top-tier earners.

CHIP would cost about $8 billion over five years, which is less than 1% over the current tax bill.  Republican’s willingness to kill a program that benefits the children of low-income families in favor of tax cuts for donors who are already doing great, sums up the GOP’s Platform.

The Republican Party’s devotion to their wealthy donors and corporate contributors at the expense of the well-being of the poor, sick and hungry is demoralizing. While CHIP will most likely get funded, it is on a hold while Republicans figure out a way to offset their irresponsible spending on tax cuts.

Because the Republican’s rulebook calls for cuts to entitlement spending, the usual suspects are on the chopping block: Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and Food Stamps.

When asked about reforming health care, Speaker Paul Ryan told National Review’s Rich Lowery that he has been hoping to reform health care for the poor for a long time. Ryan said,“ So Medicaid, sending it back to the states, capping its growth rate, we’ve been dreaming of this since I’ve been around – since you and I were drinking at a keg.” Paul Ryan has been giddy at the prospect of pulling the rug out from under low-income and elderly American’s since he was a frat boy at Miami University.

Ryan’s worldview sits in stark contrast to Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s, the man who ushered in the New Deal, a series of federal programs to include the Social Security Act, which the Republican-held Congress seeks to gut. The New Deal made the lives of millions of Americans who lost everything in the Great Depression great again.  He famously said, “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much it is whether we provide enough for those who have little.” Because when you are born on second base, a home run is more like a walk in the park.

Next November, you get to cast your ballot for a new crop of congressional leaders. It’s up to you to decide if we are a nation that adds more to the abundance of those that have more than they can spend or level the playing field for those just looking to get in the game.