WASHINGTON - As the Republican House of Representatives puts its budget proposal forward, advocating massive cuts to Medicare and other government programs, Democratic National Committee Interim Chair Donna Brazile hosted a conference call with reporters to discuss how the proposal would hurt the poor, elderly and many Blacks and Latinos, Amsterdam News reported.
"Paul Ryan's budget is what I call a 'back to the future approach,'" she said, "where we basically cut taxes for the rich, drain the federal government of revenues and decrease the amount of money that the federal government is paying for critical infrastructure, education and research and development."
While the GOP's proposal is highly unlikely to ever pass the Democratic-controlled Senate, the budget as originally outlined by Wisconsin Republican Ryan would hit African Americans especially hard, since, though Blacks make up 13 percent of the country's population, they make up 21 percent of Medicare recipients. "Representative Ryan's plan to dismantle Medicaid will disproportionately affect communities of color," Brazile stated.
Brazile also is pushing Republicans to work with President Barack Obama to reduce the deficit by raising taxes on the rich instead of the more than $1 trillion in tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires proposed by the GOP.
"Now, we're going to fight very hard to ensure that this budget will never see the light of day. Having emerged from the worst recession in generations, the president has put forth a plan to rebuild our economy and win the future by out-innovating and out-educating and out-building our global competitors and creating jobs for the future," she said.
Brazile said the she sees in the GOP proposal an attempt to roll back many of the programs that have helped America become a superpower post World War II. Brazile believes that Ryan's budget is a blatant attempt to wipe out liberal achievement.
"The Ryan approach is the wrong approach. The Ryan budget basically says: 'We don't need the Great Society programs. We don't need the New Deal. We don't need to go back the 1920s, and we don't need to focus on the future.'"
During the call, Brazile kept the focus on the haves sharing the wealth with the have-nots and the need to raise all Americans to a comfortable lifestyle. But she warned citizens –particularly African Americans – of the importance of participation in the budget process and contacting their local politicians to voice their opinion.
"We should have shared sacrifice and shared prosperity. African Americans should be involved in these conversations," said Brazile. "This is not a time for Afro-Americans or any Americans to sit on the sidelines and debate."