Paul Ryan Admits the GOP Is Going to Slash Entitlements to Fund Tax Bill

The GOP’s trillion dollar tax cut will be paid for with Medicare cuts—and Trump’s apparently onboard.

Pete Marovich

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.

Last week, the Senate passed a “tax reform” bill that costs over $1 trillion dollars and almost entirely benefits the rich, while tossing the poor and middle class a sack of nickels, some old NOW CDs, and an expired payday-lender discount code (basically). This week the man who leads the other chamber of Congress gave the world a preview of what’s up next on the agenda:

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) said Wednesday that congressional Republicans will aim next year to reduce spending on both federal health care and anti-poverty programs, citing the need to reduce America’s deficit.

“We’re going to have to get back next year at entitlement reform, which is how you tackle the debt and the deficit,” Ryan said during an appearance on Ross Kaminsky’s talk radio show. “… Frankly, it’s the health care entitlements that are the big drivers of our debt, so we spend more time on the health care entitlements — because that’s really where the problem lies, fiscally speaking.”

Paul Ryan has dreamed of destroying Medicaid since he was a frat boy in college, so this really is no surprise. Indeed, as my colleague Noah Lanard noted earlier this year:

“We’re just going to keep going at entitlement reform all the way down the road,” Ryan told Fox News’ Chris Wallace. Ryan said that will mean revisiting a 2017 House Budget proposal that would have decreased Medicare funding by almost $50 billion per year. Overall, Ryan’s budget would cut funding for programs that help working-class Americans by $2.9 trillion over the next decade. 

But the speaker of the House isn’t alone! According to Ryan, Donald Trump, who insisted endlessly that he would not cut entitles if elected president, also wants to cut entitlements. “I think the president is understanding that choice and competition works everywhere in health care, especially in Medicare,” Ryan said.

We all knew Republicans were going to cut programs for the poor and elderly to fund tax cuts for the rich. Now we know they’re willing to admit it.

 

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate