From the Children's Congress to the Corporations' Congress

Four years ago, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gaveled the House of Representatives into session saying, "For all America's children, the House will come to order.'' The House budget proposal released Tuesday by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan would transform the legislative body from the Children's Congress to the Corporations' Congress, robbing poor children of their futures while rewarding the richest Americans and corporations.

This is radical and reckless, and it's built on rhetoric, not real solutions. This is less a budget proposal than an ideological assault on the foundation of a fair society, with the least among us poised to become the principal victims. Instead of protecting and investing in our most precious asset, our children, certain members of Congress are putting corporations first. This policy is wrong-headed and will dramatically increase the already massive gap between the rich and the poor. Poor children and their families will suffer most.

The House Budget proposal is an assault on children and low income families cutting lifelines and dismantling protections for the Medicaid program that serves more than 30 million children. From cradle to college, poor children would lose crucial supports from Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to Pell grants. Under this budget plan the federal government would forsake its role as the engine of equality, and truly become the locomotive for inequality by cutting taxes on corporations rather than closing the loophole that allows them to dodge taxes by shifting profits overseas; further cutting taxes for the richest Americans; and repealing the estate tax increasing the deficit.

To offset all these financial gifts to the rich, this House proposal would cut health care funding by more than $2 trillion over 10 years—at a time when there are 50 million uninsured Americans including more than 8 million uninsured children. This proposal would not only threaten the uninsured by repealing health reform, it also threatens the health and future of millions of children, more than half children of color, currently being served by Medicaid. The intersection of poverty and race in America today means children of color would suffer disproportionately from these cuts. Instead of leaving no child behind, the House budget proposal would leave no corporation behind.

If enacted this budget proposal would increase hunger, homelessness, and misery for the most vulnerable in America who are already suffering from deep cuts at the state level and are still facing devastating federal cuts in the FY2011 budget battle that could lead to a government shutdown this week.

All of us must do what's morally right and stand together for children to fight back these cruel and immoral assaults on our children. The future and soul of our country is at stake.