Statement of Rep. Maloney on the 2012 Budget
WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), today issued the following statement on the 2012 budget voted by the House:
I support responsible deficit reduction. The issue is not whether we reduce the deficit, but how and when we do so.
Most economists agree that major budget cuts during a recovery have the effect of delaying a full recovery from recession. The world’s economies are all struggling with the recession, and Japan is also coping with natural and nuclear disaster. Here at home, Americans are struggling with the spike in gasoline costs—with no indication of when or if those costs at the pump will recede.
This budget is a wealth transfer program—it transfers from the poorest Americans to the richest, and a time when income inequality is at its most unbalanced, higher even than during the Great Depression.
I agree with President Obama when he said yesterday that shared prosperity means shared responsibility—and this budget does too little to put us on the path to prosperity and forces the responsibility to pay onto those least able to afford it.
This budget ends Medicare as we know it, and does nothing to create jobs—other than to perpetuate the fiction that cutting taxes will somehow unleash a magical job-creation machine that is now being kept hidden. It places an unfair, undue burden on seniors and the middle class and far too little burden on the wealthy.
21% of the budget goes to programs that help the poor and less fortunate but they absorb 66% of the cuts in this budget. Billions in tax breaks continue to go to big oil companies—but expenditures on energy alternatives are cut by 85%.
This budget eliminates the guarantee of Medicare for those born after 1957 and would force seniors to spend thousands more to cover their own health care-- up to $6,000 more. This budget converts Medicaid into block grants to states-- and cuts $1.4 trillion in the program, and does nothing to control rising health care costs; these cuts would have devastating effects on the health care of the 60 million Americans who were served by it last year, including 30 million children and 14 million seniors and people with disabilities.
Mr. Ryan says this budget doesn’t cut Medicare for those born before 1957 because seniors “have been planning their lives around it.” But he cuts food stamps—now called the “SNAP” program—by 20% over the next ten years. 1 in 7 Americans are on food stamps/SNAP currently. So the question arises, what about those who have been planning to be able to eat today because of the SNAP program?
We have to remember how we got here. At the end of the Clinton Administration, we had no deficit at all. Then, under the Bush Administration, we entered two foreign wars and instituted a Medicare drug benefit – all of which were funded by the deficit (and all of which were supported by the other party, including Mr. Ryan!).
Now, after those expenditures and the worst financial crisis since the Depression and in the midst of a recovery, this budget proposes the exact wrong direction for America. I vote no.