Tom Price’s Path to Poverty

Among the many other things included in the House GOP's latest budget blueprint, which would cut spending by $5.5 trillion, is a call for radically transforming Medicare and Medicaid and eliminating CHIP.

House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price’s (R-Ga.) blueprint repeals ObamaCare and proposes a premium support system for Medicare similar to the one proposed in previous House budgets by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Price’s predecessor. [...]

Price’s plan would repeal Medicaid expansion offered through ObamaCare and would instead create “State Flexibility Funds” that are essentially block grants to states. The budget also envisions combining this Medicaid proposal with the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which offers funding to states to help provide health coverage to children.

Calling it a "premium support system for Medicare" is a nice way of saying that the government would mail seniors a voucher which they could use to buy private insurance; a system that was mocked as a "healthcare coupon" when Representative Paul Ryan first proposed it several years ago.

For anyone who has any knowledge of how expensive it is to insure older people, it's a ludicrous idea that would never work but one that the Republican party supports on an annual basis.

The GOP's proposed budget would also cut taxes for the rich by repealing alternative minimum taxes, but they still find room to increase war funding by $90 billion.

Defense hawks have been demanding relief from the spending limits; to appease those voices Price includes $90 billion for the Defense Department’s war funding account, known as the overseas contingency operations (OCO) fund, which falls outside the base budget and has been used to carry out the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

If you're wondering how you cut taxes for the rich, increase defense spending, drastically increase healthcare costs by repealing Obamacare, voucherize Medicare and block-grant Medicaid but still somehow manage to balance the budget, the answer is simple: magic asterisks.

By using GOP arithmetic or "dynamic scoring," congressional bean-counters figure that the healing powers of tax cuts and reduced regulations (they will refer to this as "pro-growth policy") will offset virtually every other policy proposal they put forth, all of which would explode the deficit.

The blueprint released today by House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price is not "itemized" which is to say it does not specifically say which programs would be cut, and in what amount, to reach a total of $5.5 trillion in cuts.

Tom Price hypothesizes that repealing Obamacare it its entirety would cut spending by $2 trillion, but the other $3.5 trillion would come from mandatory spending (Medicaid, Medicare) and non-defense discretionary spending (environmental protection, education, etc).

Congressional Republicans evidently believe that Americans will vote for the Paul Ryan budget in 2016 even though we voted against it in 2012 before Obamacare was fully implemented.

If I were the Clinton campaign, I would welcome the opportunity to run against the hand-waving and magical thinking present in both Paul Ryan's budget and Tom Price's budget