Here's a snippet of Rep. Paul Ryan's closing remarks during the debate on his budget plan.
RYAN: This path to prosperity charts a different course. It gets us off this wrong track. It achieves four objectives. Number one, grow the economy and get people back to work. Number two . . . fulfill the mission of health and retirement security. We don't want to ration Medicare, we don't want to see Medicare go bankrupt, we want to save Medicare. Number three: repair the social safety net. Get it ready for the 21st century.
We don't want a welfare system that encourages people to stay on welfare. We want them to get back on their feet and lead flourishing, self-sufficient lives. So let's reform welfare for people who need it, and end it for corporate welfare for people who don't need it.
Number four. Let's do the work of lifting this crushing burden of debt from our children.
And there you have it. While you thought welfare was reformed two decades ago and no longer exists for Republicans to beat up on, you were wrong. Basically, everything but tax breaks to the wealthy is welfare. Any domestic spending, welfare. Let's look at what Ryan is actually slashing, here, what he calls welfare.
The plan contains $1.4 trillion in Medicaid cuts over ten years (which includes repeal of the health reform law’s Medicaid expansion); large cuts in food stamps, low-income housing, Pell Grants, and other programs for people with limited incomes; and repeal of the health reform law’s subsidies to help low- and moderate-income people purchase health insurance....
Cuts of this magnitude in programs for people of low or modest incomes will lead to substantial increases in poverty and hardship. In addition, the steep cuts in programs like Pell Grants to help low-income students get a college education would reduce the opportunity for many individuals to lift themselves out of poverty.
(Apparently that's his "corporate welfare" dig—the subsidies low- and moderate- income people would get to purchase health insurance. Kind of like the voucher he proposes for seniors to purchase health insurance in lieu of Medicare. But that's not corporate welfare, that's old-people-on-welfare reform.)
So college students receiving Pell grants are on welfare. Low-wage earners in subsidized housing are on welfare. The unemployed victims of this recession who have to rely on food stamps are on welfare. Parents who have children with severe disabilities who get medical assistance are on welfare. Grandparents in nursing homes are on welfare. They just need to have the safety net yanked out for under them to make them "get back on their feet" and start being productive citizens for their corporate overlords again.
This, however, is not welfare.
People with incomes over $1 million would receive average tax cuts of $125,000 a year — or more than $1 million over the coming decade — if these tax cuts are made permanent, according to the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. The $125,000 figure does not include the additional tax cuts that high-income households would receive from the evisceration of the estate tax (or from additional cuts that people earning at least $1million a year would receive from Ryan’s call to cut the top tax rate to 25 percent as part of revenue neutral tax reform).
And of course, nothing about the defense industry. No welfare there, either.