Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Comentarios from Maria: Republican Budget Would Be Disastrous for the Community and the Country

maria

Last week, Republicans in the House and Senate passed a federal budget that tramples on workers and the middle class, and damages aspirations for a better future for their children. The Republican Party and its extremist philosophy seem to forget that it serves a democracy and not just its conservative base and the most privileged classes of our society. Republicans wanted to call this budget “A Balanced Budged for a Stronger America,” when in reality, a more appropriate title would be “A Disastrous Budget for our Community and Country.”

Simply put, this budget is the reflection of the values that guide this Republican congress: repeal programs and initiatives which help the middle class to get ahead, and provide tax breaks to the rich and the world’s largest corporations.

According to their national budget, the GOP would reduce that national debt by $5.5 trillion over the next ten years. But at what cost? The delusional plan depends in large part on the dissolution of the most vital social services for the most vulnerable and the middle class. Under the provisions of this budget, Medicare will be privatized, at least partially, and basic services like the Supplementary Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) and Medicaid would be drastically cut.

Just in case the Republican favoritism for the rich wasn’t obvious enough, the plan also seeks to eliminate property taxes and reduce taxes for millionaires by $50,000, while an estimated 26 million hardworking families would see a tax hike of at least $1,000. Thus by including these provisions, the Republicans dare to insult the intelligence of the middle class.

I imagine that we are already tired of hearing the GOP attacks on the Affordable Care Act (known commonly as Obamacare), without forgetting that for them the elimination of the law is but an exhausting obsession. The budget seeks to get rid of the Affordable Care Act  in its entirety,  without regard for the more than 16 million people – including the 4.2 million Latinos – who have gained health insurance and the protections provided by the law. Obviously, the GOP doesn’t include a viable alternative but conveniently includes the profits and savings of the law in the new budget that Obamacare has already generated.

The plan aggressively cuts the number of people eligible for occupational training or employment services, and also cuts the scholarships known as Pell Grants that, until now, have enabled millions of students (including thousands of Latinos) to obtain higher education. Additionally, the cuts the budget suggests would result in 35 million children less in Head Start, a program that has benefited and advanced the education for thousands of Latinos in the country. Taken together, the White House estimates that the amount of money we invest in each student would fall to its lowest level since the year 2000.

For Republicans, the word justice does not exist in their vocabulary, as demonstrated by this budget. There is nothing in it that is either fair or honest, only petty proposals in favor of themselves and their supporters.

This article originally appeared in Spanish in The Washington Hispanic.