As I've been warning about for months now, and as GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan has been smugly hinting at for years, massive austerity cuts to government social spending by the GOP are coming, and they are going to destroy the economy.
Of course the level of cuts Ryan and Trump are talking about would be a humanitarian disaster, exploding the homeless population, wrecking millions of lives, and blasting a hole in the economy.
House Speaker Paul Ryan regards 2018 as a chance to fulfill the ambitions he brought to Congress 20 years ago: reshaping the social safety net for the poor and disabled, as well as programs including food stamps and Medicaid. He said Wednesday he’s focused on getting people from welfare to work.
“People want able bodied people who are on welfare to go to work, they want us to get people out of poverty, into the workforce,” Ryan said in a Fox News interview late Wednesday. “That’s good for them, that’s good for the economy, that’s good for the federal budget.”
The White House has laid groundwork for cutting welfare programs. The president’s 2018 budget proposal sought steep reductions in food stamps, Medicaid health insurance payments, Social Security disability benefits, low-income housing assistance and block grants that fund meals-on-wheels for the elderly.
House Republicans released a policy blueprint last year for reshaping poverty programs with more work requirements, stronger protections against abuse and more leeway for states to alter rules. The document targeted Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, food stamps and Social Security’s Supplemental Security Income program for disabled and elderly people with very low incomes.
White House officials have offered varying -- and ambitious -- signals on where the president will focus his attention after returning from his holiday break.
Trump keeps talking about his infrastructure program, but it will never happen. We will be told that America has to tighten its belt and make those cuts to keep the economy going. If you thought people were suffering under the Trump regime before, well, 2018 is going to get worse, if not bloody, and the butcher's bill is going to start pretty early in 2018, I would suspect.
But you know who might prevent the worst from happening? The one Republican who's expected to still be around to deal with the bill in 2019.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Thursday morning crushed House Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) dream of making cuts to programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security in 2018 now that Congress has passed tax cuts.
McConnell said that the Senate would not be able to pass legislation making changes to those programs without support from Democrats, making it unlikely that his chamber would attempt to pass major legislation addressing those programs.
He made the comments during an interview with Axios’ Mike Allen, who asked McConnell where infrastructure and “entitlement reform” fall on his 2018 to-do list.
“I think the Democrats are not going to be interested in entitlement reform, so I would not expect to see that on the agenda,” McConnell replied. “And what the Democrats are willing to do is important because in the Senate, with rare exceptions, like the tax bill, we have to have Democratic involvement.”
He added that it’s more likely the Senate would tackle infrastructure since both parties are interested in such legislation.
No Senate Republican wants to have to deal with a vote to cut Social Security next year in 2020 or 2022 after Paul Ryan has long adios'd the place, but we'll see.
After all, they have to get this all done before Mueller finishes his impeachment recommendations.