On Thursday (March 21), U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall, R-GA, voted in favor of the Ryan budget, thereby making it clear who he thinks should bear the burden of deficit reduction. In his view, it should be working and middle class Georgians, rather than the large multi-billion dollar companies that avoid paying their fair share.
In a nutshell, the Ryan plan balances the budget by gutting safety net programs like Medicaid and SNAP, turning Medicare into a voucher system, cutting Pell grants, repealing important parts of the Affordable Care Act, and cutting other vital programs. If these cuts were actually implemented, it would be disastrous for the working families who rely upon these programs. People in working households would lose healthcare coverage, low-income working families would be stripped of nutrition assistance, and higher education would be even less accessible than it already is for middle class students. And this doesn’t even begin to describe the adverse effects this budget plan would have on both seniors and women.
The harsh austerity of the Ryan budget compels us to ask a simple question: why not just generate new revenue so that we don’t have to make such drastic cuts to the programs many of us rely upon?
As it turns out, there is a fair and straightforward way to do just that. The answer is closing corporate tax loopholes that are currently costing both federal and state governments billions of dollars, while putting small business owners who do pay their fair share at a disadvantage. Recent research shows the federal government loses around $90 billion and state governments about $40 billion because of foreign tax havens that some corporations use to hide profits abroad and avoid taxation. If we simply make large corporations pay their fair share by closing these loopholes, we would be able to protect the programs that make us strong and have more money left over to spend on other priorities.
Yet, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-WI, and Rep. Woodall don’t want to hear this. And this is because they are on a mission to starve government of revenue so that there is no choice left but to dismantle vital social programs and radically alter the character of government.
This has gone on long enough. It’s time for Rep. Woodall to set his conservative ideology aside and stop asking working and middle class Georgians to make sacrifices that don’t need to be made.
Georgia Fair Share