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The People's Budget Balances The Budget -- Why Isn't It Part of These "Deficit" Talks?

Monday, 01 August 2011 06:11 By Dave Johnson, Campaign for America's Future | Op-Ed
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The Peoples Budget Balances The Budget -- Why Isnt It Part of These Deficit Talks

President Barack Obama during a meeting with Congressional leaders concerning the nation's debt ceiling, in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington on July 11, 2011. From left: Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). (Photo: Doug Mills / The New York Times)

The Congress is fighting over how to cut the 10-year deficit, and this fight is at the edge of putting the country into default. The thing is, all of the things that polls show the public wants our government to do are off the table in these discussions. The public is not stupid -- the very things the public wants our government to do will actually get rid of the deficit and grow the economy. There is a budget plan before Congress that does just what the public wants our government to do. It's called The People's Budget.

Why isn't The People's Budget part of the deficit discussions in Washington? The answer is because it doesn't give huge favors to Wall Street, multinational corporations or the wealthy. It just helps We, the People have a better life, while growing our economy so our smaller businesses and startups can have a chance to compete.

The People's Budget

The Congressional Progressive Caucus has offered The People's Budget -- a responsible budget that does not just cut the deficit, it eliminates the deficit, balancing the budget and begins to pay down the debt. And it does this while investing in the very things that we need to do to grow our economy, without cutting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

How does The People's Budget accomplish this? It look at the things that caused the deficits, and reverses them. What a surprise! Before we started having these huge budget deficits taxes were higher on the wealthy, the military budget was much lower, and we invested in the things that grow the economy, including infrastructure, education and science. Then we cut taxes dramatically for the wealthy, and everything started to go haywire.

The People's Budget creates a fairer tax system, but without putting rates back to where they were before Reagan. It:

  • Ends the recently passed upper-income tax cuts and lets Bush-era tax cuts expire at the end of 2012
  • Extends tax credits for the middle class, families, and students
  • Creates new tax brackets that range from 45% starting at $1 million to 49% for $1 billion or more
  • Implements a progressive estate tax
  • Eliminates corporate welfare for oil, gas, and coal companies; closes loopholes for multinational corporations
  • Enacts a financial crisis responsibility fee and a financial speculation tax on derivatives and foreign exchange

The Bottom Line

The People's Budget:

  • Deficit reduction of $5.6 trillion
  • Spending cuts of $1.7 trillion
  • Revenue increase of $3.9 trillion
  • Public investment $1.7 trillion

Isn't this exactly what both sides in DC say they want?

Dave Johnson

Dave Johnson (Redwood City, CA) is a Fellow at Campaign for America's Future, writing about American manufacturing, trade and economic/industrial policy. He is also a Senior Fellow with Renew California.

Dave has more than 20 years of technology industry experience including positions as CEO and VP of marketing. His earlier career included technical positions, including video game design at Atari and Imagic. And he was a pioneer in design and development of productivity and educational applications of personal computers. More recently he helped co-found a company developing desktop systems to validate carbon trading in the US.

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