The left spent several days praising President Obama’s budget speech mainly because in it he refused to destroy America and took a couple of shots at the piece of absurdity based on false assumptions Paul Ryan, (R, WI-1), and the Republicans call The Path to Prosperity. The right denounced Obama’s speech since it didn’t completely agree with their plan, and he is Obama. Lost in the shuffle was the best plan of all, one that actually results in the strongest America and reduces the defecit the fastest.
The Congressional Progressive Caucus, co-chaired by Representatives Raul Grijalva, (D, AZ-7), and Keith Ellison, (D, MN-5), has produced, The People’s Budget. It features ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush Tax Cuts, subsidies to oil companies, cutting the Defense budget, a surtax on millionaires, taxing capital gains as ordinary income, super tax brackets for the very highest incomes, raising the cap on Social Security, and closing many tax loopholes. It invests $1.45 trillion in job creation, education and green energy. The most interesting part to any true fiscal conservative is that it gets the best “grade” from the CBO, who says it would eliminate the defecit by 2040 – the Ryan plan is still running a huge defecit at that point.
Only in the last few days has this budget gotten any publicity and then only from the left. Rachel Maddow, Thom Hartmann, Paul Krugman and now I are among the very few to even give it a mention. If you pressed the, allegedly liberally bias, mainstream media they would say that it was not covered because it has no chance of becoming law. I agree – but then neither does the Ryan plan. The blatantly right wing media will not cover it because they are too busy trying to defend Ryan’s plan. When you’re on mission impossible you really do not have time for much of anything else.
The truth is that the Republicans really don’t give a hoot about the defecit. They care about lowering taxes and preserving loopholes for their financiers and if they can crush the working class in the process thereby lowering labor costs that is a bonus. Remember their financiers don’t look at campaign donations as donations – they look at them as investments and they expect a generous return on their investments.
I’m not sure I’m ready to completely endorse every single element of the Progressive Budget, but it is certainly a vastly superior plan to and produces much better results than the Ryan plan! You may be asking when the Progressive Budget will come up for a vote. The answer is that the Republicans will never let The People’s Budget come to the floor of what they like to remind us is the People’s House. In a move to appease the Tea Party and deliver a return on investment to their financiers they passed the Ryan plan and that is it. Where the Progressive Budget could be the most useful is if the Democrats lay it on the table in the closed door negotiating sessions and say the Ryan plan is your starting point and the Progressive Budget is ours. This would go a long way to soothing liberal unrest with the Obama administration’s strategy, which the left sees as putting forth a reasonable compromise as its opening position and then negotiating to the right from there toward the hard right Republican position.
Don’t expect this issue to be resolved anytime soon. FY 2011’s budget takes us through the end of this September and a series of continuing resolutions following that would certainly not be a big surprise. The real battle will be over the raising of the debt ceiling – it simply has more urgency and literally and figuratively comes first.
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