This week, Congressional Republicans are expected to blow a $1.5 trillion hole in the national debt in order to cut taxes for millionaires and corporations that send jobs overseas.
Independent analysis confirms that 83 percent of the benefit of the tax bill will go to the richest one percent of Americans. And everyone else will pay for it through cuts to Medicare, border security, and help for Ohio farmers and rural communities.
That’s because of a law known as PAYGO, or the Pay-As-You-Go Act. Under PAYGO, the deficit increase caused by the tax bill will trigger an automatic $25 million cut to Medicare next year alone, and a $16.4 billion Medicare cut for Ohio over ten years. That’s your money – money you’ve paid in over a lifetime of hard work.
Because of these cuts, 2.1 million Ohio seniors on Medicare could see cuts to their care, doctors could choose to cover fewer Medicare patients or none at all, home health services will get much more expensive, and Ohioans in the health industry could lose jobs.
I’m calling on everyone in Congress to take immediate action to waive these PAYGO requirements so millions of Ohioans don’t suffer from significant cuts to Medicare.
And Medicare isn’t the only program facing drastic, arbitrary cuts. U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s operations and support will be cut by $1.3 billion. That makes U.S. borders less secure overall and takes critical resources away from Customs and Border Patrol officers working to keep fentanyl from entering Ohio communities. Support for Ohio farmers, transportation funding, payments to the Military Retirement Fund, the Appalachian Regional Commission – all of these initiatives and more that Ohioans rely on will be automatically cut if Congress doesn’t act.
Reckless partisan politics shouldn’t be the reason Ohioans face cuts to critical programs they depend on. Congress must take immediate action to waive PAYGO and prevent these cuts.
Sherrod Brown is the senior U.S. senator from Ohio.