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DEBT: Republicans favor Big Oil over little guy

Letter by Chris C. Gillis, Puyallup on May 25, 2011 at 1:26 pm | 50 Comments »
May 25, 2011 1:31 pm

I am confused by the Republican debt logic. Recently Republicans have been saying we must get our debt under control – OK. They have introduced the Ryan budget plan they say will tackle the debt. As part of this plan, tax increases are off the table.

At the same time, Republicans in Congress voted against or blocked reduction of tax subsidies for big oil companies that would have gone to help reduce debt. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates the reduction would be about a one percent hit to their huge profits. Many Republicans view a reduction in a tax subsidy as a tax increase.

So here is my problem with that thinking. As part of the Ryan plan, when I am eligible for Medicare in about 10 years, I will have to participate in a drastically changed program utilizing vouchers. This change could result in my paying up to 60 percent more for health care, according a CBO estimate, due to reduced voucher subsidies.

So, according to Republicans, a reduction in tax subsidies for Big Oil is a mortal sin, but my paying more for health care is OK. What’s worse, most the money saved by making me pay more for health care will be used to further reduce the top tax rates, not reduce the debt.

I’ve worked since I was a teenager and am now in my mid-50s. I’m looking at paying way more for health care in retirement. But at least Big Oil will be OK.

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