GOP budget means bad news for America

Democratic strategist James J. Devine condemned the devastating budget cuts passed today by Republicans on the House Finance committee.

“Today, Republicans on the House Finance committee put partisan politics before the interests of the people of New Jersey, voting to slash funding for critical economic priorities for our small businesses and middle class families in service of their radical ideology,” said Devine.

Not only are the GOP spending priorities bad for the economy, according to Devine, but they also carry a political price tag for lawmakers who counter the will of the people.

“Garden State voters from High Point to Cape May have already said loud and clear that we won’t stand for the kind of devastating cuts that will hurt middle class Americans,” said Devine. "Voters will hold the Republicans who voted to take our economy backward — and any who join them — accountable in 2016.”

"The Republican budget process is intended to lull the public to sleep by staying short on details and long on damaging provisions that will hurt low-income and middle-class families,” said Devine, who added that folks should pay attention to the debate because budgets have consequences.

"If done right, the federal budget can truly move our country forward,” said Devine. "Unfortunately, we desperately need a bold and responsible alternative to the Republican plans that take from working families while giving more to corporations and the wealthy."

The House Republicans’ proposed budget cuts would lead to downshifting onto local municipalities, meaning property taxes would likely increase for working families.

“One of the big underlying issues in this whole discussion of proposed budget cuts is the issue of downshifting, you’re going to hear that word a lot in the coming months,” said Devine. "You know, if you cut back on mental health services, drug and alcohol programs, nursing homes, emergency shelter funding, all those kinds of things, road maintenance, etc., a lot of that gets pushed down to the municipal level, which means property taxes go up and that drives the politics at the grassroots.”

The GOP budgets proposed in Congress would cut about $5 trillion over the next decade.

The overwhelming burden would fall on programs that boost working families: education, Medicare and Medicaid, college aid, job training, medical research and rebuilding roads and bridges.

Tens of millions of Americans would lose health insurance and millions more would lose food stamps or be priced out of college, but the richest one percent of the population would reap huge benefits.

"While they’re comfortable putting the squeeze on working families who will be most affected by these cuts in benefits and services, they refuse to ask corporations and the wealthy to contribute one thin dime to the effort,” said Devine. "In fact, not one tax loophole is closed by their budgets."

"Instead, the House GOP’s proposed budget would give bigger tax cuts to the wealthy, blowing a $1 trillion-plus hole in the budget over the next decade, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities,” said Devine.