"Budgets reflect the choices we make for our country," Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) said before the vote. Ryan, for his part, called the budget "a matter of trust." Let's review the choices House Republicans just voted to make, the "trust" they offered the American people:
- Repeal Obamacare, which has provided more than 9 million people with coverage. House Republicans would leave the vast majority of those people out of luck, and the nation's uninsured rate rising again.
- End Medicare as we know it, turning it into a voucher program and raising the eligibility age to 67.
- Slash food stamps, kicking millions of people off of nutrition assistance.
- Gut the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
- Make college less affordable by cutting Pell Grants.
According to Ryan, things like food stamps and health care are "paternalistic, arrogant, and downright condescending" if they come from or are ensured by the government. Republicans, on the other hand, "trust the people." But the trust that was on view in this vote was Republicans trusting that voters won't notice their deeply unpopular, cruel, damaging set of priorities. Luckily, these priorities won't pass the Senate or get the president's signature, so this budget will not become law. But it makes very clear how high the stakes are in November's elections.