Why are Republicans About to cut $25 Billion from Medicare ?
The PayGo law forbids bills which increase the national debt. Unless it is repealed or waived, the Republican tax cuts would cause automatic sequestration of, among other funds $ 25 billion from Medicare.
This is an excellent as usual Vox Explainer by Tara Golshan
It all comes down to the “pay-as-you-go,” or PAYGO, rule — a 2010 law that says all passed legislation cannot collectively increase the estimated national debt. In other words, if Republicans want to pass a tax cut, they have to pay for it with mandatory spending cuts — or, inversely, if Congress boosts funding for entitlement programs, it has to increase taxes.
If Congress violates this law, the Office of Management and Budget, which keeps the deficit scorecard, “would be required to issue a sequestration order within 15 days of the end of the session of Congress to reduce spending in fiscal year 2018 by the resultant total of $136 billion,” the CBO said in a letter to Minority Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD).
Democrats can filibuster a bill which waives PayGo. But can they block a bill which defends Medicare ? If they do, will they be blamed for the sequestration ? Back to Golshan
“for Democrats, the pressure of impending Medicare and federal program cuts would likely be enough to get them on board — even though it is a budgetary gimmick to make up for a Republican tax bill they don’t want passed.”
I have a proposed strategy. Democrats demand that the bill waive PayGo and also restricts the budget resolution/reconciliation process with a claus saying budget resolutions and reconciliation bills may not be used to change Medicare. Basically, Republicans (especially Paul Ryan) have pretty much said they will try to reform (that is cut) Medicare and Social Security to close the huge deficits created by their tax cuts. Democrats can demand that they be given a veto on such reform (by requiring any such bills to be filibusterable). I think this is a line they can hold. It may be key to blocking the tax cut/ destroy the ACA bill.
Passing a budget using Reconciliation Rules and a majority vote requires a deficit revenue neutral bill. Like the ACA, there may be some Repubs taking askance to taking money from oldsters and the poor in the form of Medicare/Medicaid cuts to balance a deficit created by a tax cut.
Anyone know what is in the Budget Reconciliation Rules which to date says there will be a $1.5 trillion deficit from the new budget. The House could probably pass these cuts; but, I believe the Senate where Reconciliation actually takes place would be more likely to stop it.
I have only one simple, uncomplicated question for Republicans: If tax cuts will supposedly bring even more revenue, what programs can we plan to spend even more money on? :-O