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Statement of MASSPIRG Legislative Director on the Federal FY 2013 budget proposed by Chairman Paul Ryan (Wisconsin) of the House Budget Committee.
“While MASSPIRG recognizes the need to address the nation’s deficit, Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget plan proposes a windfall for corporate tax dodgers, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies, and the oil industry while slapping the public with harmful cuts to public priorities like Pell Grants and public transportation.
“With America still recovering from one of the worst economic meltdowns in history, Chairman Ryan’s budget would take the dangerous step of rolling back recent reforms to rein in Wall Street abuses and protect the economy and consumers from destructive and deceptive practices of the nation’s largest banks.
“Chairman Ryan’s proposal to move to a so-called ‘territorial’ tax system would make offshore tax dodging even easier for America’s largest multinational corporations. In fact, at least 83 of the nation’s top 100 publicly traded corporations have subsidiaries located in offshore tax havens, costing taxpayers $100 billion a year.
“Repealing the health care reform law would return us to a path of unsustainable hikes in health costs, deny individuals and small businesses the advantages of bargaining power and competitive marketplaces, and give insurers carte blanche to jack up their rates, discriminate against the sick, and drop young people from health plans when they graduate from college.
“While the budget plan rightly proposes to decrease wasteful subsidies to agribusiness giants and save money by disposing of unused federal buildings, too many of his spending cuts slash key investments in America’s future.
“The proposal slashes Pell Grants which help more than 9 million students pay for college at a time of rising college costs, tight family finances and a job market that increasingly requires post-secondary education.
“With oil prices on the rise, we cannot afford to zero out funding and the economic benefits of high-speed rail investment and funding for oil-saving forms of public transportation.
“There is a right way to reduce the deficit that would avoid devastating cuts to public priorities by cutting truly wasteful spending and can garner support from across the political spectrum. In September, U.S. PIRG worked together with the National Taxpayers Union – two groups that don’t often agree on budget priorities – to come up with 56 specific recommendations to reduce the deficit by just over one trillion dollars.”
“The Ryan budget pairs harmful cuts to public priorities with massive giveaways to special interests. Congress should stand with students, ordinary taxpayers, and the public by rejecting Chairman Ryan’s budget.”
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