In each of the past two years, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) has treated the American people to an unabashed, right-wing take on the federal budget in the form of the House Republican budget blueprint. He built the two prior budgets around the central idea that nearly everyone had to make substantial sacrifices for the sake of deficit reduction: Our seniors would have to give up traditional Medicare, our children would have to make due with substandard education, and our middle-class families would have to get by with fewer services while paying higher taxes. While seniors, children, and middle-class families were asked to sacrifice, however, the very rich were rewarded with enormous tax cuts.
With Rep. Ryan’s nomination as the Republican vice-presidential candidate in the 2012 election, the American people were allowed to decide for themselves whether they agreed with the priorities laid out in his budgets. Clearly, they did not agree. A majority of voters rejected Rep. Ryan and his approach to the federal budget. And now, with the release of his third budget plan, we have the opportunity to find out if Rep. Ryan and his colleagues learned anything from that experience.
Unfortunately, the answer appears to be “no.”
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