SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Election

September 6, 2012

Tierney slams GOP budget plan at Chamber breakfast

DANVERS — Congressman John Tierney left no doubt yesterday that he believes outlining the sharp contrast between Democratic and Republican ideology is his path to reelection in November.

“They are starkly contrasting views, and I will lay out both choices and what it means for Massachusetts and the district depending on what we choose,” Tierney told members of the North Shore Chamber of Commerce during a speech yesterday at the Danversport Yacht Club.

The Republican budget — named the Ryan plan after its author, congressman and vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan of Wisconsin — gives more tax breaks to the wealthy, while drastically cutting essential services for lower- and middle-class Americans, Tierney said.

“There are no new revenues, no tax loopholes cut,” Tierney said. “Cutting discretionary spending is the sole area they look at to level the deficit.”

That includes cutting spending on education, health care, veterans’ care, green technology, research, infrastructure, Medicare and Medicaid, community block grants and more, Tierney said.

Medicaid cuts could force states to throw seniors out of nursing homes or drastically reduce local aid; Medicare would turn into a voucher system, forcing seniors to pay thousands out-of-pocket; food programs for low-income people would be slashed, and Pell grants and other student aid would be cut, Tierney warned.

The Republicans also want to repeal President Obama’s health care act, which would mean a return to lifetime limits on coverage, premium hikes, exclusions for pre-existing conditions and scores of uninsured Americans, Tierney said.

“It’s a bad plan,” he said, “and it makes our future a lot more difficult to envision.”

The Democrats, Tierney said, want to fix the deficit “in a balanced way” that includes “severe cuts ... but also looking at revenues. The people at the top end maybe don’t need those (Bush-era) tax cuts.”

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