By now I am sure you have all heard about Republicans protecting your inheritance from the greedy hands of the government by voting 240-179 to repeal the estate tax. By “your inheritance” I am talking to those of you who will receive estates valued at over $5.43 million; so roughly 0.2 percent of the American population. Okay, so let me rephrase: by now I’m sure you have all heard about Republicans voting to give the wealthiest Americans another huge tax break by repealing the estate tax.
The repeal does nothing to help the rest of us, but it will certainly hurt us. Republicans are, of course, not telling you this but by repealing the estate tax they will increase the deficit by $269 billion for the next ten years. Two hundred and sixty-nine billion dollars is a whole lot of money that can pay for many things to help middle and low-income Americans!
Here are the top five things that money could pay for:
Last month House Republican unveiled their budget and among their crippling cuts was a plan to limit Pell grants to $5,775 per school year for ten years. It would also eliminate $89 billion in Pell grant increases that have already been approved. These grants are what help low-income students pay for college. During the 2013-2014 school year more than nine million students benefited from the $33 billion program.
The GOP claims that limiting the amount of money spent on students trying to better themselves is necessary. That’s right, they repeal a tax and save the wealthy billions of dollars while attempting to screw over poor college kids who want to become educated.
Not only did Republicans attack higher education in their not so brilliant budget, they also proposed $1.2 billion in cuts to Title 1 education funding. Title 1 funding goes to schools with a large number of low-income K-12 students. That $1.2 billion could fund 4,500 schools, 17,000 teachers and aides, and 1.9 million students. These cuts are necessary because the GOP wants to give 0.2 percent of the population a tax break on the backs of our children.
4. Law Enforcement
Law enforcement funding has taken a brutal hit over the last decade because of federal budget cuts. A survey of 1,222 state and local agencies released in 2013 revealed that 64 percent of law enforcement agencies, 65 percent of juvenile justice departments and 72 percent of corrections departments have had to cut staff because of a decrease in grant money from the Department of Justice. In addition to staff reductions many successful counseling programs and others that help offenders who have been recently released were completely cut.
The $269 billion that Republicans are fighting to save the wealthy would go a long way in helping those problems. The GOP claims to care so much about law enforcement but continues to make draconian spending cuts that hurt the people they profess to love.
3. Medical Research
Another thing the GOP claimed they needed to cut funding for in their budget was medical research. It eliminated 1,300 National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants. Research institutes rely on NIH grants to help cover the cost of their programs. Remember when the GOP was creating a frenzy over Ebola in America last year and the unlucky Americans who contracted it were given an experimental treatment that saved their lives? That’s the sort of thing NIH grants pay for.
Next time you hear a Republican talk about cancer, AIDS, or any other incurable disease, remember they have to cut funding for the grants that may one day help cure these things because they needed to give their obscenely rich friends another tax break.
2. Veterans’ Programs
The GOP loves our veterans! Remember how angry they were when veterans monuments were closed after they shut our government down? Remember how they went on tv and claimed that Democrats hate our vets?
They love veterans so much that they claimed they have to spend $1.9 billion less on the programs that help these people in order to balance our budget. Not just $1.9 billion, but also $19 billion less over the next decade.
Yep, they have to screw over our veterans in order to save $269 billion for the rich; but seriously, they love our vets.
That brings us to the number one thing Republicans could pay for if they weren’t so busy hurting Americans……
1. Assistance For The Needy
The Republican budget completely screwed over poor children and adults. They claimed that they just had to cut billions of dollars from the programs that give our most vulnerable citizens a hand up. It just couldn’t be helped! $129 billion had to be slashed in food assistance and $913 billion in healthcare from Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
Two-thirds of the money Republicans want to save with their outrageous budget was at the expense of middle- or low-income American families. They claimed they just had to, there was no way around it. They claimed all of this while they sought to save millionaires and billionaires tax money. Aren’t they amazing?
Republicans do not care about the average American family. This newest tax break just further highlights that. The only people they care about are their wealthy campaign donors; everyone else is of no consequence to them.
Featured image via millionsofhands.com