Rep. Paul Ryan's plan to shamelessly plunder Medicare and hand the uber-rich enormous tax subsidies advanced out of the Budget Committee and headed to the House floor for a vote next week. 22 Republicans voted to destroy America and reduce the nation to a GOP plutocratic fiefdom. 16 Democrats voted to preserve the Union.
As wrangling over the 2011 Budget continued on Capitol Hill with Republicans gleefully cheering the prospect of a federal government shutdown that would give their plutocrats unfettered reign during the forced fiscal hiatus, Right-Wing Ryan and his cohort pushed ahead with a 2012 Budget that would permanently reshape the nation into a plutocratic fiefdom on the China model.
Ryan called his assault the "Path to Prosperity," easily fooling poor, ignorant grassroots Republican white separatists and evangelical supremacists into believing there would be prosperity for them. While there might be an occasional bone thrown to the poverty-stricken racist hordes to reward their skull-bashing thuggery, the prosperity on this path is reserved for the plutocrats. An income tax cut from 35% to 25% awaits the fat cats, along with continued subsidies galore for oil moguls and polluters.
Meanwhile, future seniors can look forward to having to pay 68% and more of their health care costs out of their own pockets. Ryan Buy 'em dismantles Medicare and replaces it with private insurance you will buy on the open market with a combination of out-of-pocket cash and vouchers. Health insurance premiums today for folks over 55 with pre-existing conditions top $1,000 a month throughout the land. Private insurers mostly don't cover folks over 65. In ten years, when Ryan's death express takes hold, does anyone really believe the monthly premiums wouldn't have doubled at the very least? Ryan's sinister scheme would cap the voucher value at $15,000 a year, which means that seniors would literally have to cough up any amount of the monthly premium over $1,250.
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimated by 2030 seniors would end up paying 68% of the costs of coverage when figuring in premiums, deductibles and co-pays. Ryan grinned his toothy smile and flashed his baby blues while bleached blonds swooned. Cheap matinee idol looks get you anywhere in America.
Let's be clear about this. Under Ryan Buy 'em, you will get up to $1,250 a month to buy private insurance that may or may not cover all your medical needs. In 2030, twenty years from now, if the premiums, deductibles, co-pays and other out-of-pocket expenses average a not-unlikely $3,900 a month, you will need to make up the $2,650-a-month difference out of your own money.
That's $2,650 a month you will have to pay. For those without a calculator handy, that comes to $31,800 a year. Then, you will have to pay for housing, food, gas, electricity, heat, car insurance, homeowners' or renters' insurance, property taxes, and pet food, unless you've already counted that under regular food.
But, you will be happy to know that insurance execs would be getting way more than the $13 million compensation package Wellpoint CEO Angela Braly got way back in 2010.
And, that's the just the tip of Ryan's Titanic-wrecking iceberg. Republicans nixed Democratic amendments to the Ryan wrecking ball that would have prevented tax hikes on people making less than $200,000; halted Medicaid cuts to seniors in nursing homes; prevented cuts to firefighters, education, and medical research; and guaranteed funding for food safety and financial regulations.
Republicans also deep-sixed a Democratic amendment that promised Social Security wouldn't be privatized. The GOP laughed out loud at the notion they wouldn't plunder the Social Security trust funds, hand the money to their Wall Street cronies, and let them toss the taxpayers' hard earned retirement savings onto the roulette wheel of international equity markets.
So, if the Wall Street tycoons bet your farm on widget futures, and the widget bubble bursts, you won't be getting a Social Security check to help pay that $31,800 a year you need for your health care. Or for your rent. Or cat food.
Oh, well, dying horribly and miserably isn't all that bad. People in the Middle Ages did it all the time.
Of course, in the Middle Ages, kings and princes and lords died horribly and miserably too. Ryan's Path to Plutocrat Prosperity prevents that from happening to today's evil overlords.
Unless the peasantry decides to pick up their pitchforks and torches.