At the Wonk Room, Pat Garofalo and Igor Volsky take a closer look at the numerous riders the GOP is insisting on in their budget negotiations, and find out how much the ideological crusade the GOP is on in the name of deficit slashing
would actually increase federal spending
For example, the CBO analyzed the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, Sec. 4017 of their base bill H.R. 1, and found that even partially defunding the law would increase federal costs by $3.1 billion in 2012 alone. That's just a start. There are more than 80 riders in H.R. 1, the bill they're are using as their "starting point for all negotiations." Here's what just a few of them will cost:
Sec. 4013 — Prohibits funds to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America: Planned parenthood provides services more efficiently and each dollar spent on contraception saves taxpayers multiple dollars down the line. For instance, it’s estimated that pushing contraceptive care patients from Planned Parenthood to other clinics would “cost the government an additional $174 million a year.”
Sec. 1591 — Prohibits funding for needle exchange programs: As an example, the cost to prevent a single HIV infection by needle exchange “has been calculated at $4,000 to $12,000, considerably less than the estimated $190,000 (listed in 1997 dollars) medical costs of treating a person infected with HIV.”
Sec. 4020 — Prohibits funds to take any action to effect or implement the disestablishment, closure or realignment of the US Joint Forces Command: Closing the Joint Forces Command, which “employs more contractors than troops” and which Defense Secretary Gates says is no longer necessary, could save up to $240 million per year.
Sec. 4051 — Prohibits funds for implementing a provision specific to the State of Texas in the “Education Job Fund”: This provision prevents Texas from collecting money from the education jobs bill passed last year unless it maintains its own rate of current education funding. Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) has previously stuck federal education money into his state’s Rainy Day Fund. Blocking the provision amounts to giving Texas more than $800 million with no oversight.
Sec. 4012 — Bans funding for the Department of Education regulations on Gainful Employment: These regulations would restrict federal funding for subprime schools, many of which make 90 percent of their revenue from the federal government, while accounting for nearly half of student loan defaults.
All of which just serves as a reminder: this isn't about the deficit. The Republicans don't care about the deficit, don't care about spending. They care about keeping their extreme base happy. This is purely an ideological fight for the GOP.