Republicans are marching in lockstep with the Paul Ryan budget roadmap -- a plan that kills Medicare without saying so, guts Medicaid to the bone, and cuts taxes for the rich by making everyone else pay more. Rep. Ryan said it himself, as quoted April 5 in the Washington Post: "This is not a budget -- this is a cause." The Republican cause, to judge by this plan, is to make the richest tier of the economy even more comfortable at everyone else's expense.
Good news: the Progressive Caucus has an alternative we call the People's Budget. It generates a government surplus by 2021, and it's catching fire.
World-renowned economist Dr. Jeffrey Sachs has endorsed the People's Budget in a thoughtful column over at the Huffington Post:
Their plan is humane, responsible, and most of all sensible, reflecting the true values of the American people and the real needs of the floundering economy. Unlike Paul Ryan's almost absurdly vicious attack on the poor and working class, the People's Budget would close the deficit by raising taxes on the rich, taming health care costs (including a public option), and ending the military spending on wars and wasteful weapons systems.Unlike the Ryan Roadmap to Ruin, this plan creates millions of twenty-first century jobs, makes everyone pay their fair share and protects the social safety net that's kept this country strong for generations. You can learn more by reading this outline or selecting "FY2012 Progressive Budget" under "Issues" at the Progressive Caucus Web site.
The CPC proposal:
• Eliminates the deficits and creates a surplus by 2021
• Puts America back to work with a “Make it in America” jobs program
• Protects the social safety net
• Ends the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq
• Is FAIR (Fixing America’s Inequality Responsibly)
What the proposal accomplishes:
• Primary budget balance by 2014
• Budget surplus by 2021
• Reduces public debt as a share of GDP to 64.4% by 2021, down 16.9 percentage points from a baseline adjusted for the "doc fix" and alternative minimum tax patch
• Reduces deficits by $5.7 trillion over 2012-21
• Both outlays and revenue equal 22.3% of GDP by 2021
How does it achieve a surplus and strengthen our economy for working families all across this country? Our plan closes corporate welfare loopholes, ends giveaways to oil, coal and gas companies, significantly reduces overseas military expenditures, and creates an infrastructure investment bank so we can develop our economy intelligently for the new millennium. These are not pie-in-the-sky ideas -- Jeffrey Sachs doesn't endorse plans that don't work. This plan will work.
The House Republican majority tells the country that our only hope is to slash everywhere, regardless of the consequences, as though more economic pain is somehow the mature response to our situation. The Progressive Caucus doesn't believe that, and I'm proud to have worked with my colleagues on the CPC Budget Task Force to create what we think is a very solid product. I hope you take a minute to learn more and share in that pride.