Bernie Sanders blasts Paul Ryan over Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid cuts

Bernie Sanders blasts Paul Ryan over Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid cuts
© Camille Fine

It is astonishing to watch so many conservatives and Republicans compromise and betray core values that once comprised the heart and soul of their philosophy.

Remember when Republicans stood for national defense and attacked liberals for being “soft on communism”? While some Republicans and conservatives stand tall opposing Russian attacks against America that are now under intense investigation, other conservatives and Republicans defend a president who has praised the Russian dictator who attacks us, and they attack the American investigators who are battling against the Russian crime.  

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Remember when conservatives and Republicans claimed to be the champions of family values? Some of them stand for those values today, while others support Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate campaign, a man who has been called a sexual predator by nine brave women, and the Republican National Committee pours campaign money into his campaign.

 

Remember when conservatives and Republicans claimed to be the party of fiscal responsibility and cutting deficits? When the Senate recently passed the tax cut bill, every single Republican except Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerSenate GOP attempts to wave Trump off second Putin summit Senate approves resolution warning Trump not to hand over US officials McConnell calls for Senate hearings on Russia sanctions MORE (R-Tenn.) made a mockery of their promises of fiscal responsibility by passing a bill that would bloat the deficit by almost $1.5 trillion.  

And now House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanDems unveil slate of measures to ratchet up pressure on Russia National Dems make play in Ohio special election Trump vows to hold second meeting with Putin MORE (R-Wis.) vows to cut the bloated deficit he works to increase with the tax cut by attacking Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and welfare for the poorest among us. Has Ryan no shame?

Once again, as he has so many times throughout a brilliant career, Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersSenate to vote Monday on Trump's VA nominee Senate approves resolution warning Trump not to hand over US officials GOP leader blocks resolution backing intelligence community on Russia MORE (I-Vt.) rises to condemn the cruelty, harshness and hypocrisy of Ryan’s raising the deficit with his tax cuts for the rich while planning to hurt the rest of America with his attacks against cherished and popular Democratic programs including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Sanders is right. Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenOn The Money: Trump rips Fed over rate hikes | Dems fume as consumer agency pick refuses to discuss border policy | Senate panel clears Trump IRS nominee Dems fume as Trump's consumer bureau pick refuses to discuss role in border policy Trump vows to hold second meeting with Putin MORE (D-Mass.), Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownDems pressure GOP to take legal action supporting pre-existing conditions Dems fume as Trump's consumer bureau pick refuses to discuss role in border policy Manufacturers support Reed to helm Ex-Im Bank MORE (D-Ohio), Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharGOP seeks separation from Trump on Russia Hillicon Valley: EU hits Google with record B fine | Trump tries to clarify Russia remarks | Sinclair changing deal to win over FCC | Election security bill gets traction | Robocall firm exposed voter data Election security bill picks up new support in Senate MORE (D-Minn.), Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDemocrats slam Trump for considering Putin’s ’absurd’ request to question Americans Judge Kavanaugh confounds the left This week: GOP mulls vote on ‘abolish ICE’ legislation MORE (D-N.Y.), and countless other House and Senate Democrats are right when they condemn the cruelty and hypocrisy of Republican policies that shower the wealthiest with lavish rewards and punish poor and middle-class Americans who comprise the heart of the nation with attacks against the programs that serve them so well.

For many years Sanders, Warren and other progressives warned the nation that the real agenda of Ryan and other Republicans is to balloon the deficit by lavishing benefits on the 1 percent, then pay for their massive projects of class bias and social injustice by trying to force the 99 percent to pay for them.

This week Ryan essentially confessed that Sanders and the others were right all along! It is amazing and politically suicidal. First, Ryan makes a mockery of his pretensions to fiscal responsibility with a tax-cut bill that would make the deficit soar, and then, citing the skyrocketing deficit he would create with the tax cuts, he prepares to attack some of the worthiest, most popular programs that Democrats have given the nation.

My answer to President TrumpDonald John TrumpNFL freezes policy barring players from protesting during anthem McConnell spokesman on Putin visit: 'There is no invitation from Congress' Petition urges University of Virginia not to hire Marc Short MORE and Republican leaders in Congress, using words made famous by Clint Eastwood, is: Make my day.

Let Republicans campaign in the midterms for more tax cuts, for the wealthiest Americans and the most profitable corporations, that actually raise taxes for many Americans with incomes under $75,000. Let Republicans campaign against Social Security, against Medicare and against Medicaid to pay for their tax cuts for the rich.

There are reasons the GOP attacks on healthcare, and their class-biased tax cuts that so hugely benefit the wealthy, are so widely unpopular with voters. There are reasons that Democrats lead Republicans by large margins in most generic polling for the midterm elections.

Let President Trump and Republican leaders run on a platform of waging war against programs so many Americans support, to finance policies so many Americans oppose.

Sanders is right. There are reasons Sanders ran ahead of Trump by double-digit margins in almost all match-up polls throughout the 2016 campaign. There are reasons Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonProminent Putin critic: If Trump turns me over, I'm dead Dems unveil slate of measures to ratchet up pressure on Russia Trump tweets old video of Clinton talking up 'a strong Russia' MORE defeated Trump by 3 million popular votes in the last election.  There are reasons Democrats shellacked Republicans in the 2017 elections.

Sanders is right: The post-Trump era is coming sooner than people think.

Brent Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was chief deputy majority whip of the U.S. House of Representatives. He holds an LLM in international financial law from the London School of Economics.