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Myths and Facts about Herrera Beutler’s Vote for Sustainable Budget

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Washington, April 15, 2011 | comments
Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler today voted for the proposed 2012 House GOP Budget. Below are some of the common attacks on those who voted for this budget – and the facts on what this budget actually does.
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Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler today voted for the proposed 2012 House GOP Budget.  Below are some of the common attacks on those who voted for this budget – and the facts on what this budget actually does.


Attack: This budget will put an end to Medicare as we know it.
Fact: This budget will save Medicare.  If nothing is done with regard to Medicare, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) confirms it will be bankrupt by 2020.  Jaime voted for this budget to stabilize and secure Medicare funding so it will be there for today’s younger workers and for future generations.

Here are the facts about what the 2012 budget does for Medicare:
1) No one over 55 would see any changes to Medicare.  It will be preserved exactly as it is now.

2) People 54 and younger will receive Medicare Premium Support.  This will closely resemble the current Medicare Advantage program that more than 37% of seniors in Southwest Washington have already elected to use for their health care, and is similar to the health care plan Members of Congress receive.  They get to choose from a range of plans that best fit their needs.

3) This future Medicare Premium Support will be available to folks with greater health risks and will provide additional assistance to lower-income recipients.

4) This budget saves Medicare.  If we continue on the path we’re on, Medicare will be completely out of money in 2020, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.  This budget would make no changes for retirees and near-retirees, and would stabilize Medicare so that it is still available when younger Americans reach retirement.


Attack: This is a move by Republicans to turn Medicare into a voucher program.
Fact: FALSE.  Again, this budget makes no changes to recipients age 55 and older.  For younger Americans, this budget will closely resemble the current Medicare Advantage program that more than 37% of seniors in Southwest Washington have already elected to use for their health care, and is similar to the health care plan Members of Congress receive.  It will provide a Medicare payment and a list of Medicare-approved coverage options from which recipients can choose a plan that best suits their needs.  


Attack: This budget will change Social Security.
Fact: FALSE. The plan Jaime supported will NOT change Social Security.  In fact, on April 15 she voted against a plan to raise the Social Security eligibility age to 70 years old.  (Roll Call vote #275).  

She has consistently opposed privatizing Social Security.  What she has done, and will continue to do, is fight overspending in other areas of government that threaten this program. 


Attack: Republicans don’t want to reform Medicaid – they want to starve it.
Fact: FALSE. This budget plan gives governors more flexibility by converting the federal share of Medicaid spending into block grants.  The current one-size-fits all approach ties the hands of state governments.  With this reform, states will be able to offer their Medicaid populations more options and better access to care.


Attack: This budget gives bigger tax breaks to large oil companies.
Fact: FALSE. The budget says nothing about tax breaks to oil companies.  In fact, page 68 of the committee report instructs: “Scale back corporate subsidies in the energy industry” and further calls for on page 133 “eliminating or modifying deductions, credits and special carve-outs that leave many companies paying no tax at all.” So, any changes to subsidies will be reductions.


Attack: Supporters of this budget give tax breaks to the top 1% wealthiest Americans at the expense of the middle class.
Fact: FALSE.  The tax reforms in this budget are aimed squarely at helping small businesses and households in Southwest Washington, and throughout America. What critics either don’t know or won’t say is that about 75% of all small businesses file their taxes through individual, not corporate, returns.  Advocates for tax increases on the “top 1%” ignore that a business making $300,000 with five employees would also be paying higher taxes if this happened.

Raising taxes on small businesses while moms, dads, and neighbors are out of work and in need of jobs would be disastrous.  This budget will aid job creation and empower small businesses through tax reforms. 


Attack: This budget hurts education overall, and makes college expensive for 10,000,000 college students.
Fact: FALSE.  The budget does not reduce the amount for Pell grants.  It does make some changes to years of eligibility and recommends other changes.  It is important to note that this proposed budget will continue through the budgeting process and will likely see further changes.  Jaime supports the continued availability of Pell grants for those pursuing a college education.