Now, we’re talking…
This is the kind of budget I could really support!
One of the complaints the progressive blogosphere commonly levels against the Democratic leadership in DC is about negotiating strategy. Generally, the complaint is that the Democratic leadership in Congress and in the White House make opening bids that are already compromises, which results in final legislative deals skewing further to the right than necessary. Perhaps the most frequent specific example of this complaint is that Democrats in Congress should have started the health care debate by proposing a single-payer plan, and might have ended up with a public option in the final bill as a result.
Whether or not you agree with that complaint in either the general or the specific, if it is applied to the budget fight the Democratic leadership in DC should have started with The People’s Budget (PDF), which the Congressional Progressive Caucus introduced today. It’s a budget that produces a surplus by 2021 without cutting services for the poor and middle-class. It thus provides a stark contrast with the recent proposal by Rep. Paul Ryan, and a left-flank to the principles outlined by President Obama.
Here’s a general overview of the People’s Budget:
Reduces unemployment—and thus the deficit—through extensive investment in infrastructure, clean energy, transportation and education;
Ends almost all the Bush tax cuts, creates new tax brackets for millionaires and enacting new fees on Wall Street;
Full American military withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan, along with other reductions in military spending;
Ends subsidies for non-renewable energy;
Lowers health care costs by enacting a public option and negotiating Rx payments with pharmaceutical companies;
Raises the taxable maximum income for Social Security Withholding