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.  

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 CorkerSaudi mystery drives wedge between Trump, GOP Dem Senator: Congress will act on death of Saudi journalist Democrats torch Trump for floating 'rogue killers' to blame for missing journalist 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 RyanSaudi mystery drives wedge between Trump, GOP GOP group makes late play in Iowa seat once seen as lost Adelsons donated M in September to help GOP in midterms 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) SandersFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's debate showdown Live coverage: Cruz faces O'Rourke in Texas debate showdown Saudi mystery drives wedge between Trump, GOP 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 WarrenPavlich: The left’s identity politics fall apart Graham: It would be 'like, terrible' if a DNA test found I was Iranian Iranian-American group calls on Graham to apologize for 'disgusting' DNA remark MORE (D-Mass.), Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownOn The Money: Deficit hits six-year high of 9 billion | Yellen says Trump attacks threaten Fed | Affordable housing set for spotlight in 2020 race Lawmakers, Wall Street shrug off Trump's escalating Fed attacks The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by PhRMA — Dem victories in `18 will not calm party turbulence MORE (D-Ohio), Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharIs there difference between good and bad online election targeting? Election Countdown: Minnesota Dems worry Ellison allegations could cost them key race | Dems struggle to mobilize Latino voters | Takeaways from Tennessee Senate debate | Poll puts Cruz up 9 in Texas Clusters of polio-like illness in the US not a cause for panic MORE (D-Minn.), Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerMcConnell says deficits 'not a Republican problem' Medicare for All is disastrous for American seniors and taxpayers Senate Dems race to save Menendez in deep-blue New Jersey 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 TrumpFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's debate showdown Arpaio files libel suit against New York Times IMF's Christine Lagarde delays trip to Middle East 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 ClintonBudowsky: Closing message for Democrats Election Countdown: Dems outraise GOP in final stretch | 2018 midterms already most expensive in history | What to watch in second Cruz-O'Rourke debate | Trump raises 0M for reelection | Why Dems fear Avenatti's approach GOP mocks Clinton after minor vehicle collision outside Mendendez campaign event 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.