New book looks at the road to the civil rights act and Paul Ryan's proposed budget plan aims to cut trillions in federal spending

04/04/14 Robert Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Friday) | Listen to this entire show:
Tags: Civil Rights Act, Todd Purdum, Max Richtman, Paul Ryan


This year marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act. Veteran political reporter Todd S. Purdum covers this in his new book AN IDEA WHOSE TIME HAS COME: Two Presidents, Two Parties, and the Battle for the Civil Rights Act of 1964” (Henry Holt and Company). The book describes how two Presidents, John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson overcame divisions within their own party and their initial lukewarm embrace of civil rights to end government sanctioned discrimination on the basis of race. Today on Radioactivity, Rob Lorei speaks with Purdum about the racial climate of the country in the early 1960s.

Later Rob interviews Max Richtman is President and CEO of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (NCPSSM) about the vote in the House in Washington on Congressman Paul Ryan’s proposed Republican budget plan.

Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman wants to cut $5 trillion in federal spending over the next decade. He said it would bring federal spending and taxes into balance by 2024, through steep cuts to Medicaid and food stamps, and the total repeal of the Affordable Care Act just as millions are beginning to feel the benefits of the law.

Military spending would increase. Domestic programs would be reduced to the lowest levels since modern government accounting.

And Medicare would be converted into a “premium support” system, where people 65 and older could buy private insurance with federal subsidies instead of government-paid health care. The budget would balance in 2024 because Ryan is assuming his cuts would prompt a burst of economic growth that would raise tax revenues above what independent economists forecast.

The Ryan budget plan already passed the House Budget Committee and will be brought to a floor vote later today.

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