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The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights  & The Leadership Conference Education Fund
The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

Civil and Human Rights Coalition Urges Congress to Reject Ryan's 'Draconian' Budget Resolution

April 12, 2011 - Posted by Ron Bigler

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition of more than 200 organizations, is calling on Congress to reject the Fiscal Year 2012 budget resolution put forward by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI).

"The Ryan budget makes cuts that are extreme and irresponsible, slashing or eliminating many services that are needed by communities represented by The Leadership Conference, including vulnerable and low-income people such as young children, students, older people, the jobless, and the uninsured," said Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference, and Nancy Zirkin, executive vice president, in a letter to members of Congress.

Among the particulars of Ryan's budget proposal, they flagged:

  • Medicare: The Ryan House budget breaks America’s promise to seniors and jeopardizes their health by cutting $30 billion from Medicare over ten years. At the same time, it would eliminate the guarantee of Medicare for people under age 55, replacing it with a system of private insurance vouchers that would fail to keep pace with the increased medical costs.

  • Medicaid: The House budget’s proposal to convert Medicaid into block grants would result in $1.4 trillion in cuts, while doing nothing to reduce health care costs. These cuts would have devastating effects on the health care of the 60 million Americans who were served by Medicaid last year, including 30 million children and 14 million seniors and people with disabilities.

  • Food Stamps: The Ryan budget would cut food stamps (now called the SNAP program) by $127 billion, or 20 percent, over the next ten years. This would result in millions of low-income families being thrown off the rolls or having their benefits drastically cut, inhumanely leading to increased hunger and poverty during difficult economic times.

  • Education: The budget would cut funding for education programs in FY12 by $ 17.7 billion--nearly 19 percent--and by a total of $250 billion over ten years. Discretionary Pell funds for low-income college students would be cut at least 60 percent, potentially denying college access to millions of students. These draconian cuts would completely reverse our nation’s progress on improving student achievement, devastate our nation’s education system, and harm America’s economic future.

  • Other Vital Services and Programs: Across the board, the Ryan budget targets cuts very disproportionately to countless services and programs that are vital to the communities that we represent. These include Head Start, child care, health care, transportation, public safety, Community Development Block Grants, jobs programs, and others.

  • Tax Cuts for Millionaires and Billionaires: The Ryan budget cuts the top individual income tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent and the top corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent. In other words, at the same time that the budget would deprive many Americans of necessities like health care and food stamps, it would give Americans earning more than $1 million an average annual tax break of $125,000.

Read the full letter.

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