In a new piece for City Pages, Susan Du takes aim at Minnesota’s Republican Representatives and their concerted attack on our nation’s already threadbare social safety net. According to Du, Paulsen and his GOP counterparts are poised to enact tax reform legislation that enriches the wealthiest Americans while leaving the middle class with little or no tax relief.
Republican Reps. Erik Paulsen, Tom Emmer, and Jason Lewis are firmly united in their opposition to government spending. Paying down the debt is so important to both Lewis and Emmer that both voted against spending on hurricane relief (something Paulsen, too, has done before).
Given their ideological commitments, it’s unsurprising that the trio voted Thursday in favor of a budget resolution that cuts Medicaid by over $1 trillion, Medicare by about $473 billion, food stamps by $140 billion, and student loan assistance by $200 billion.
These budget cuts will enable the GOP to cut taxes. As Du writes, “The 1 percent gets served first, of course. The wealthiest Minnesotans will receive 62 percent of the state’s tax cuts next year for an average of $66,000, according to the nonpartisan Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. Middle-class Minnesotans get 7 percent of cuts, or an average of $370.”
While the budget resolution is not law and functions only as a series of recommendations, it does operate as a useful statement of purpose for congressional Republicans. It’s an illustration of the sort of America that Rep. Paulsen and his Republican counterparts want, one in which the rich get richer while the middle class is left behind.
The budget resolution is also significant because it changed the rules for passing legislation in the Senate. Republicans will now be able to pass their tax cut bill with a bare majority of 51 votes.
The budget process will continue in the House and Senate Appropriations subcommittees that determine the shape of the final budget.