if your budget passes, thousands of poor people are going to suffer because of your Medicaid cuts. I will never sign your Medicaid cuts. I don't care if I go down to five percent in the polls. If you want your budget passed, you're going to have to put someone else in this chair.What's different today? Republican budgets are crueler and crazier; the Ryan budget, passed by the House yesterday, makes the proposed cuts of 1995 look like a beard trim. Gingrich & co. wanted to cut $182 billion out of Medicaid over ten years; Ryan would cut $810 billion out of the existing program by 2022 and eliminate the (fully funded) $1.6 trillion ten-year expansion mandated by the ACA. Similar Draconian cuts are scheduled for food stamps, housing assistance, job training and Pell grants. And as a Times editorial outlining these cuts today emphasizes, if the Republicans get their someone else in that chair, he will be no bulwark:
Bill Clinton to Dick Armey, 1995 (in Joe Klein, The Natural, p. 148)
In all, 62 percent of the budget’s cuts come from low-income programs, and that’s on top of the substantial cut in spending already in place from last year. But the Ryan budget does contain a substantial tax cut for the rich, which is one of the reasons Mr. Romney said he was “very supportive” of the plan.
If memory serves, btw, in the Stephanopolous version of that Clinton-Armey exchange, Clinton says of the proposed Medicaid cuts, "they're cruel." Perhaps that was back-of-mind in the titling of the Times editorial, "A Cruel Budget." But then, what other word is there?“It’s a bold and exciting effort,” he said, “and it’s very much consistent with what I put out earlier.” It is also consistent with his stated lack of concern for the very poor.
See also: Why Obama can't entirely channel Bill Clinton circa 1995