More detrimental budget cuts

Republicans have once again turned a blind eye to the desperate need for tax increases on the wealthiest Americans, and in a move no one should be surprised by, have focused on those who need help most.

Those on the right side of the party line have proposed cuts to NPR, Medicare, PBS, Medicaid and Planned Parenthood. AmeriCorps, an organization that coordinates volunteers that help fight illiteracy and build affordable housing, also may see some of its funds disappear.

I suppose these proposals could be a genius move by Republicans to destroy the lives of those people who typically vote Democrat. If you can’t even afford to pay for your heart pills, how are you going to get yourself to the polls to vote?

I doubt this somewhat evil-genius-type scheme is what the Republicans are going for, but that sure seems to make a lot more sense than the alternative — that cutting these essential public programs is a good idea.

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., the ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee, took a stand against Medicare and Medicaid. Last year at a bipartisan health care summit he said the programs were “suffocating states” and giving “empty promises” to seniors and future generations.

So what is his plan to save money? What else can we cut? The U.S. needs the money. That much is clear.

But raising taxes is off the table. The GOP made this clear with their most recent standoff about whether to let the Bush-era tax cuts expire for the wealthiest two percent.

Their love of tax cuts comes at the expense of others. Instead of passing a no-brainer bill to provide health benefits to the first responders on 9/11, Republicans insisted on extending the tax cuts for the richest before voting to pass the 9/11 health care bill.

Even though the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office ranked higher taxes in a list of potential solutions for the recession, the GOP still will not consider it.

Despite all this evidence, raising taxes is not going to happen.

But states like Arizona have already gouged millions of dollars out of education, health care and public transportation to name a few. We’ve even started telling people on state Medicaid they can’t have their organ transplants because it’s too expensive. So what do the Republicans propose?

The camp is eerily silent on that note. They are passing the buck, calling on the president to take a stand on this issue. They’re shooting down the president’s budget, without offering any alternative, while simultaneously calling for him to be more of a leader.

Am I the only one confused by that?

At the midterm elections, the GOP signed a letter vowing to hold fast against the Democratic forces of evil, refusing to compromise with a hypocritical president. Their solution was simple and redundant: cut funding, cut taxes. Same old, same old.

That forceful language and clear direction doesn’t sound like they want him to take the lead. The Republicans sound like they know what the solutions are and the president needs to get out of their way.

When he actually is listening, look at how fast the message changes. “We demand a voice!” To, “But it’s his job!”

If you have nothing to say, Republican Party, stop making so much noise.

In the letter, Republicans said Americans are “fed up with business as usual in Washington.” We are. But not with President Barack Obama’s. With yours.

Contact the reporter at omcquarr@asu.edu