“What I will not do is to have that negotiation with a gun at the head of the American people — the threat that “unless we get our way, unless you gut Medicare or Medicaid, or otherwise slash things that the American people don’t believe should be slashed, that we’re going to threaten to wreck the entire economy.” That is not how historically this has been done. That’s not how we’re going to do it this time.”
“Will seniors be pushed off the fiscal cliff? Social Security did not cause the deficit, but the White House’s plan to lower Social Security cost-of-living benefits could eventually reduce Seniors’ annual benefits by hundreds of dollars. The gimmick is called the ‘Chained Consumer Price Index. The Chained CPI works this way: As the cost-of-living goes up, seniors inevitably turn to cheaper alternatives,” the Ohio Democrat explained. “For example, if seniors usually eat steak but then can’t afford its higher price, they can switch to something cheaper, like cat food — and the cost-of-living calculation would be ‘chained’ to the cheaper item — cat food.
The ‘Chained CPI’ benefit cut will chain aging seniors to a poverty of choices, a lower standard of living, with cheaper products. There is no justification to cut Social Security benefits, No to throwing seniors off the fiscal cliff. No to a Cat Food Christmas.”
“You sit next to this guy [Paul Ryan] with a totally different philosophy. What does he say when you whisper to him, when he comes out with his budget that basically gives a great break to the richest people in the country, and really screws the people who desperately need Medicare and programs like that?
What do you ask him? How can you do this? How can you reward rich people who already have all these breaks in this country? And hurt the people that have no breaks? What does he say? What’s his answer?
…He’s screwing the people he doesn’t expect to vote for him. The people he doesn’t expect to vote for him, he’s screwing.”
“He’s refused to release his tax returns, as we know. If a person coming before this body wanted to be a Cabinet officer, he couldn’t be if he had the same refusal Mitt Romney does about tax returns. So the word is out that he has not paid any taxes for 10 years. Let him prove he has paid taxes because he has not. We already know from one partial tax return he gave us he has money hidden in Bermuda , the Cayman Islands, and a Swiss bank account. I am not making that up – that’s in the partial year that he gave us. Mitt Romney makes more money in a single day than an average middle-class family makes in 2 years or more. “
“If this [Paul Ryan] budget becomes law and the cuts were applied evenly, starting in 2014, over 200,000 children would lose their chance to get an early education in the Head Start program. Two million mothers and young children would be cut from a program that gives them access to healthy food. There would be 4,500 fewer federal grants at the Department of Justice and the FBI to combat violent crime, financial crime, and help secure our borders. Hundreds of national parks would be forced to close for part or all of the year. We wouldn’t have the capacity to enforce the laws that protect the air we breathe, the water we drink, or the food that we eat.
Cuts to the FAA would likely result in more flight cancellations, delays, and the complete elimination of air traffic control services in parts of the country. Over time, our weather forecasts would become less accurate because we wouldn’t be able to afford to launch new satellites. And that means governors and mayors would have to wait longer to order evacuations in the event of a hurricane.
That’s just a partial sampling of the consequences of this budget”
“If we’ve got to raise money, it makes sense for us to start by asking the wealthiest among us to pay a little more, before we start asking seniors to pay a lot more for Medicare.
…If you want a balanced approach that doesn’t gut Medicare and Medicaid, doesn’t prevent us from making investments in education and basic science and research … then prudent cuts have to matched up with [new tax] revenue.”
“We know that there’s certain public roles and leadership that has to happen and this bill in one fell swoop just pulls the plug on progress for America’s families – progress made over the last 50 years.”
“I’m not afraid to say that Paul Ryan’s budget is a threat to our country. Paul Ryan’s budget would knock out more critical infrastructure than Al Qaeda ever dreamed of.”