March 31. WASHINGTON–In a much anticipated press conference, leaders of the Republican Party introduced a bill today which they maintain will cut the deficit by more than half in ten years and return America to greatness. Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, described the bill before a host of reporters and enthusiastic supporters gathered in front of the House of Representatives. “What this bill will do when it becomes law—and we know that it will become law because America needs it—is this. It will assure that every American is working and that no one, and I mean no one, will feast from the government trough ever again. And it is a first step in getting our financial house in order.”
Mr. Ryan then outlined the key provisions:
- A work requirement will be imposed for all government “handout” programs. This includes, among others, Medicaid, food stamps, public housing, Section 8 low income housing, Housing Choice Vouchers, and TANF (“temporary assistance for needy families,” commonly referred to as “welfare”) and disability assistance.
- The work requirement will be universal with no exceptions and stipulates only full time employment will be permitted under the law and that all workers must be paid the federal minimum wage.
- The minimum wage for all employment will be permanently set at $8.00/ hour or $16,000/year.
- Anyone whose income is $16,000 or more will not be eligible to receive any benefits associated with these programs.
- Further provisions will cut all federal funding for homeless shelters, health clinics and other “unnecessary government handouts.”
When asked by a reporter if this means that no one will be eligible for these safety net programs, Mr. Ryan responded that that was absolutely not the case. His proposed legislation is not designed to get rid of any government safety net programs. If anyone meets the criteria of working at a full time job at the federal minimum wage and makes less than $16,000 a year, they will be eligible and will receive all the benefits.
Mr. Ryan added, “We Republicans are the party of working people and the common man. This is a major change in government policy designed to bring all people up and discourage shiftlessness and laziness. The American people will love us for this just like they love our president.”
Vice President Pence, who also attended the event, interrupted and talked for over 10 minutes about how President Trump has accomplished more for poor people and working people than all of the presidents before him combined and more than any leader in the history of the world. He was weeping at the end of his impromptu comments.
When pressed by reporters to say how much government spending would be reduced by this bill if it becomes law, Speaker Ryan stated that OMB estimates that no funds will be spent by these programs going forward. This would reduce annual federal spending by hundreds of billions of dollars, Mr. Ryan maintained, adding that OMB projects that the entire federal deficit of more than $19 trillion will be eliminated within a few decades. He went on to say that he plans to introduce similar legislation regarding Social Security and Medicare, which if passed, would get rid of all government debt in only a few years. “The main problem in our country is that too many people expect something for nothing. They want handouts and they are shiftless deadbeats. This legislation is designed to help them and to motivate them and to make them great Americans.”
He then described in glowing terms a future country without “slum public housing,” without homeless shelters, and without poor people.
Vice President then read a tweet from the president: ”Good job, Paul. Making America Great Again! Your legacy will live forever.”
Mr. Ryan concluded the press conference by stating once the legislation passes he plans to introduce legislation to reduce taxes “for the over-taxed, job generators in America.”