Our budget challenge requires serious leadership, and can’t be driven by dangerous ideology.
But U.S. Congressman Paul Ryan's plan would take a slash and burn approach to the federal budget — ending Medicare as we know it, threatening the economic security of the millions of vulnerable Americans, and forcing the middle class to bear more than their share of the burden of balancing the budget.
My grandparents raised me from when I was two months old, and they sacrificed so much to give me opportunities I might otherwise have been denied. They even continued to work demanding jobs for me, instead of enjoying the retirement they’d earned with a lifetime of hard work.
But when my grandmother grew older and more frail, she relied on Medicare to provide affordable care. Without Medicare, not only would her own economic security have been compromised, but so would my own. I would have gladly gone into debt to take care for Nana — but because of Medicare, I didn’t have to.
That’s why jeopardizing the future of Medicare is too large a sacrifice for the next generation of American seniors and the middle class.
And that’s why the Ryan Budget is so dangerous.
Slashing the key investments – in student loans, in clean energy technology, in medical and scientific research – is not the answer. And balancing the budget on the backs of seniors in the future, and on the middle class now and moving forward, isn’t a responsible solution. It isn’t leadership. And it’s up to us to stop this dangerous plan from becoming law.
This is a plan to transform the budget in a radical right-wing image. And already, each one of my Republican opponents has endorsed this plan. In Washington, the extremists are excitedly beating the drums for ending Medicare as we know it and turning it into a voucher program -- too much is at stake.
If a reckless plan like the Ryan budget had been in place when I was young, I don’t know how my grandparents would have been able to raise me -- or where I’d be today. And if the Ryan budget passes now, millions of American families will pay the price – today, and into the future.
We cannot let that happen. I’ll always work with both parties on serious efforts to reduce our deficit. And I know that with some commonsense solutions – like repealing subsidies for Big Oil, passing the Buffett Rule for tax fairness so millionaires pay the same tax rate as middle class families, and bringing our troops home from Afghanistan now – we can begin to get our debt under control.
I’ll never let radical ideology substitute for a real plan -- particularly one as dangerous and unfair as the Ryan budget.