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Romney and Ryan budgets: Tax cuts for the wealthy at the expense of the middle class

Mitt Romney praised House GOP Budget Chairman Paul Ryan for the GOP’s new budget plan, calling it “a bold step” towards “fiscal sanity.” But America’s middle class and seniors should take note because, as Romney has said, he and Ryan are “on the same page” when it comes who they prioritize and who pays the price.

Ryan’s new plan is in lockstep with Romney’s radical budget plan. Here’s a look at how both Ryan and Romney pursue the same policies that endanger the security of seniors and middle-class families in order to make sure millionaires and billionaires get tax cuts.

Privatize Medicare

  • Ryan: The Ryan plan would turn Medicare into a voucher program, in which seniors would be left with a voucher that they could use to buy private insurance.  Ryan claims that traditional Medicare would remain an option for seniors, but in reality, private plans would cherry pick healthy enrollees, driving up costs for the older and less healthy people with Medicare.

  • Romney: Romney would also turn Medicare into a voucher program. Similar proposals would force seniors to pay $6,350 more in out-of-pocket expenses each year. And because he wants to repeal the health care law, he would increase payments to insurance companies by $100 billion, and deplete the Medicare trust fund by 2016. Like Ryan, Romney claims that traditional Medicare would remain an option for seniors—but we know the reality is his plan would drive up costs for those on the program.

Cuts to Medicaid and health coverage

  • Ryan: Ryan’s plan repeals health reform and cuts over $1 trillion from Medicaid over the next 10 years. Such cuts will deny coverage up to 60 million people, including low-income children, pregnant women, nursing home patients, and people with disabilities.

  • Romney: Romney also wants to repeal health reform and cut over $1 trillion from Medicaid over the next decade. His plan would deny coverage to up to 53 million people, including low-income children, pregnant women, nursing home patients, and people with disabilities.

Cuts to middle-class investments

  • Ryan: Ryan’s plan would slash education spending, infrastructure spending, and investments in clean energy and scientific and medical research funding—all of which would cost jobs and affect the future for middle-class families.

  • Romney: Romney’s promise to blindly balance the budget would require deeper cuts to all domestic programs than Ryan’s plan.

But both Ryan and Romney made sure to protect the people they think matter most: the wealthy. Ryan and Romney extend the Bush tax cuts for the top income earners. Ryan provides trillions more in tax rate cuts that benefit the rich without explaining how he’ll pay for them, and Romney provides $5 trillion in tax cuts for the wealthy without specifying how he’ll pay for them. And while Ryan rolls back key protections in the Wall Street Reform law meant to help prevent future financial crises and bailouts of Wall Street, Romney repeals all of the Wall Street Reform law, even though a repeal doesn’t offer any budget savings.

Romney and Ryan have congratulated each other on each other’s plans. But when it comes to supporting America’s middle class, the plans offer nothing to celebrate.