The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights  & The Leadership Conference Education Fund
The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

Reject Ryan’s Draconian FY 2012 Budget Resolution

Advocacy Letter - 04/12/11

Source: The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Recipient: U.S. House of Representatives

Dear Representative:

On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, we write to express our strong opposition to the Fiscal Year 2012 budget proposal offered by Rep. Paul Ryan (R- WI). We urge you to reject this draconian proposal and instead pass a budget that helps the most vulnerable Americans, while also ensuring that there is enough revenue to sustain our country’s recovery and invest in the future.

The Ryan budget makes cuts that are extreme and irresponsible, slashing or eliminating many services that are needed by communities represented by The Leadership Conference, including vulnerable and low-income people such as young children, students, older people, the jobless, and the uninsured. With millions of families currently hurt by unemployment and reduced income, the Ryan budget would make things worse by gutting Medicare and Medicaid, and calling for massive cuts in education, emergency food assistance, and other necessities. At the same time that it proposes huge spending cuts that will harm lower- and middle-class Americans, in the name of balancing the budget, it gives massive tax cuts to corporations and wealthy individuals that need them the least. Because of these tax cuts, The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ analysis reveals that only $155B in deficit reduction is realized over the next ten years—not the $1.6T claimed by Rep Ryan.

We are particularly troubled by the following aspects of the Ryan House budget proposal:

  • Medicare: The Ryan House budget breaks America’s promise to seniors and jeopardizes their health by cutting $30 billion from Medicare over ten years. At the same time, it would eliminate the guarantee of Medicare for people under age 55, replacing it with a system of private insurance vouchers that would fail to keep pace with the increased medical costs.

  • Medicaid: The House budget’s proposal to convert Medicaid into block grants would result in $1.4 trillion in cuts, while doing nothing to reduce health care costs. These cuts would have devastating effects on the health care of the 60 million Americans who were served by Medicaid last year, including 30 million children and 14 million seniors and people with disabilities.

  • Food Stamps: The Ryan budget would cut food stamps (now called the SNAP program) by $127 billion, or 20 percent, over the next ten years. This would result in millions of low-income families being thrown off the rolls or having their benefits drastically cut, inhumanely leading to increased hunger and poverty during difficult economic times.

  • Education: The budget would cut funding for education programs in FY12 by $ 17.7 billion--nearly 19 percent--and by a total of $250 billion over ten years. Discretionary Pell funds for low-income college students would be cut at least 60 percent, potentially denying college access to millions of students. These draconian cuts would completely reverse our nation’s progress on improving student achievement, devastate our nation’s education system, and harm America’s economic future.

  • Other Vital Services and Programs: Across the board, the Ryan budget targets cuts very disproportionately to countless services and programs that are vital to the communities that we represent. These include Head Start, child care, health care, transportation, public safety, Community Development Block Grants, jobs programs, and others.

  • Tax Cuts for Millionaires and Billionaires: The Ryan budget cuts the top individual income tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent and the top corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent. In other words, at the same time that the budget would deprive many Americans of necessities like health care and food stamps, it would give Americans earning more than $1 million an average annual tax break of $125,000.

For these and numerous other reasons, we urge you to vote against the FY2012 budget proposal. Thank you for your consideration. If you have any questions, please contact Senior Counsel Rob Randhava at (202) 466-6058 or Nancy Zirkin at (202) 263-2880.


Wade Henderson
President & CEO

Nancy Zirkin
Executive Vice President

Our Members