ChrisWeigant.com

The Back To Work Budget

[ Posted Thursday, March 14th, 2013 – 17:04 PDT ]

Since it is indeed budget release week, we'd like to take the opportunity today to shine a spotlight on a budget which doesn't get the same amount of press as, say, what Paul Ryan's trying to peddle. While the Senate Democrats released their budget proposal yesterday, a group of Progressives in the House released their blueprint for a budget as well.

What follows is a one-page description of the "Back To Work" budget proposal, highlighting the general outline and key ideas. For further information on this budget proposal in much greater detail, the Congressional Progressive Caucus has a handy website where you can find all the nuts and bolts.

It's important to remember, as all of these budget plans appear, that nobody's budget proposal will be enacted as-is. These things are always subject to tinkering, politicking, and deal-making along the way. What we'd like to see is a lot more attention, and a lot more consideration -- by both the media and Democrats in general -- of the positive proposals contained within the Back To Work Budget. Which is why we're turning the rest of the column over to this rundown.

 

The Congressional Progressive Caucus Back To Work Budget

7 million new jobs in one year
$4.4 trillion in deficit reduction

We're in a jobs crisis that isn't going away. Millions of hard-working American families are falling behind, and the richest 1 percent is taking home a bigger chunk of our nation's gains every year. Americans face a choice: we can either cut Medicare benefits to pay for more tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, or we can close these tax loopholes to invest in jobs. We choose investment. The Back to Work Budget invests in America's future because the best way to reduce our long-term deficit is to put America back to work. In the first year alone, we create nearly 7 million American jobs and increase GDP by 5.7%. We reduce unemployment by 5% in three years with a jobs plan that includes repairing our nation's roads and bridges, and putting the teachers, cops and firefighters who have borne the brunt of our economic downturn back to work. We reduce the deficit by $4.4 trillion by closing tax loopholes and asking the wealthy to pay a fair share. We repeal the arbitrary sequester and the Budget Control Act that are damaging the economy, and strengthen Medicare and Medicaid, which provide high quality, low-cost medical coverage to millions of Americans when they need it most. This is what the country voted for in November. It's time we side with America's middle class and invest in their future.

 

Job Creation

  • Infrastructure -- substantially increases infrastructure investment to the level the American Society of Civil Engineers says is necessary to close our infrastructure needs gap
  • Education -- funds school modernizations and rehiring laid-off teachers
  • Aid to States -- closes the recession-caused gap in state budgets for two years, allowing the rehiring of cops, firefighters, and other public employees
  • Making Work Pay -- boosts consumer demand by reinstating an expanded tax credit for three years
  • Emergency Unemployment Compensation -- allows beneficiaries to claim up to 99 weeks of unemployment benefits in high-unemployment states for two years
  • Public Works Job Programs and Aid to Distressed Communities -- includes job programs such as a Park Improvement Corps, Student Jobs Corps, and Child Care Corps

 

Fair Individual Tax

  • Immediately allows Bush tax cuts to expire for families earning over $250K
  • Higher tax rates for millionaires and billionaires (from 45% to 49%)
  • Taxes income from investments the same as income from wages

 

Fair Corporate Tax

  • Ends corporate tax bias toward moving jobs and profits overseas
  • Enacts a financial transactions tax
  • Reduces deductions for corporate jets, meals, and entertainment

 

Defense

  • Returns Pentagon spending to 2006 levels, focusing on modern security needs

 

Health Care

  • No benefit cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security
  • Reduces health care costs by adopting a public option, negotiating drug prices, and reducing fraud

 

Environment

  • Prices carbon pollution with a rebate to hold low income households harmless
  • Eliminates corporate tax subsidies for oil, gas, and coal companies

 

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

19 Comments on “The Back To Work Budget”

  1. [1] 
    Michale wrote:

    And David says that the BACK TO WORK Budget never gets any press.... :D

    A couple of those things actually make good sense..

    But more are so whacked and ridiculous it would reduce the US to third-world status more so than Obama and the Democrats have already done...

    Michale

  2. [2] 
    db wrote:

    Gee Michale,

    "But more are so whacked and ridiculous..."

    Care to be specific?

  3. [3] 
    akadjian wrote:

    And David says that the BACK TO WORK Budget never gets any press.... :D

    Mainstream press ... :)

    https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&gl=us&tbm=nws&q=back+to+work+budget&oq=back+to+work+budget

    This is great, CW. If only we could vote on people for the mainstream media :)

    What I like about this is the focus on job creation, education and eliminating the tax incentives to offshore jobs.

    -David

  4. [4] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Only in America could a sensible plan which get so little mainstream attention. Almost everything in the plan is universally agreed by economists as being the cornerstone for economic growth, in particular: education, infrastructure, healthcare.

    And of course the number 1 way to reduce your deficit is by increasing revenue and decreasing costs. Getting people back to work is THE BEST possible way to reduce your benefit as it does both of these as well as coming with a host of other GDP boosts (especially in a consumer spending driven economy like America).

    Yet Ryan's budget gets much media attention (mostly negative because it is so lunatic) even when economists say it will cost 2 MILLION jobs.

  5. [5] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Anyway to be fair, this budget has about as much chance of getting passed as Ryan's.

    Once again if there is going to be any chance of getting something done in American politics it will come from the Senate and their compromise budget.

  6. [6] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Anyway to be fair, this budget has about as much chance of getting passed as Ryan's.

    True. Which is a shame.

    Likely what will get passed is some kind of "grand" compromise- which is code for a strongly conservative budget which looks moderate next to Paul Ryan.

    I'm at least hoping there's some strong investment which might help bring back the economy.

    -David

  7. [7] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Yeh the problem (as usual with the idiot Democrats) is their lack of understanding in how to negotiate.

    Republicans have made their starting point for negotiations the lunatic far right Paul Ryan budget; Democrats have made their starting point the sensible, compromise filled Senate budget.

    Why on earth would you include compromise in your STARTING POINT for negotiations? So stupid.

    They should have made their starting point the House Democrats budget. Then you'd get an ACTUAL centrist compromise, not just the usual right of centre compromise they end up agreeing to...

    I think everything is moot anyway since Simpsons-Bowles would be the compromise position and Republicans have indicated they will not accept anything in the same ballpark as Simpson-Bowles. It's the usual our way or the high-way with them. So there will be no budget agreement. The next point is whether or not they want to shut down Government and more up the recovery some more. Sadly there is a good chance that they do, they are that moronic.

  8. [8] 
    michty6 wrote:

    I thought my summary yesterday was pretty good for showing how lolololol the House Republicans plan was, so I'll update it today to look at the major budget proposals on the table.

    This is all the budgets compared based on ratio of cuts – revenue – stimulus:

    INDEPENDENT COMMISSION:
    Simpson-Bowles = 2 – 1 – 0

    THE PARTIES:
    House Democrats = 1 – 2.5 – 1.5
    Senate Democrats = 1 – 1 – 0.1
    House Republicans = 10000000000000000000000 (infinity)– 0 – 0
    Senate Republicans = Proposed nothing

  9. [9] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Why on earth would you include compromise in your STARTING POINT for negotiations?

    I've been upset with this since Obama started the healthcare negotiation with the public option compromise. And then ended up on the Heritage Foundation solution.

    (Only to still be called a socialist)

    -David

  10. [10] 
    michty6 wrote:

    (Only to still be called a socialist)

    Lol yes. This is one of the most hilarious and dumbest things I've ever seen. He passes a healthcare law which literally FORCES (mandates) people to hand over money to large multi-national Corporations and he's called a socialist! LOL. I think people need to re-consider their definition of socialist if 'forcing people to give money to Corporations' falls under it!

    In other news Rob Portman has 'evolved' on gay marriage too. Shockingly(!) he only made this public after he was out of consideration for the VP spot: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-21804506

    If all it takes is a family member becoming a victim to their horrific policies for Republicans to become civilised all you guys in the USA need now is more Republicans to have family members that are poor/ill/unemployed/uneducated/immigrants and they might change their archaic positions on all these issues...

  11. [11] 
    akadjian wrote:

    In other news Rob Portman has 'evolved' on gay marriage too. Shockingly(!) he only made this public after he was out of consideration for the VP spot: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-21804506

    I give Rob credit and will just leave it at that.

    -David

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    Hay CW....

    If you haven't already decided, I have your MDDOTW winner..

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/03/15/newtown-parents-residents-blast-moore-crime-scene-photo-proposal/

    What kind of sick scumbag would suggest releasing CSPs of dead children to further a political agenda!?

    Personally, this makes Moore the MDDOTC winner in my book...

    ANYONE who is on board with this needs their head examined..

    Michale

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    DB,

    Care to be specific?

    Actually, I would LOVE to..

    But I must have not refreshed the page properly, because I didn't see any responses until AFTER my nomination comment above.. Which surprised me more than a little..

    In any case, as I indicated, I would love to highlight the Good, the Bad and the Ugly for ya, but it will have to wait until tomorrow early AM..

    Michale

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    Keep in mind that I am just a simple ground-pounding knuckle drag'er who views high economic theory as some sort of voodoo magic..

    My opinions are based on common sense...

    Specifics:

    Job Creation

    Infrastructure -- substantially increases infrastructure investment to the level the American Society of Civil Engineers says is necessary to close our infrastructure needs gap

    Sounds nice. A good idea...

    How is it going to be paid for??

    Education -- funds school modernizations and rehiring laid-off teachers

    Again.. It will take money. Do Democrats think they can just print money?? Oh wait.. They do...

    Aid to States -- closes the recession-caused gap in state budgets for two years, allowing the rehiring of cops, firefighters, and other public employees

    But only to states that voted Democrat or are dominated Democrats.. Those states who are dominated by Republicans can go pound sand.. Ironically enough, most of THOSE states don't NEED any help. :D

    Making Work Pay -- boosts consumer demand by reinstating an expanded tax credit for three years

    Another gimme that is paid for by American taxpayers..

    Emergency Unemployment Compensation -- allows beneficiaries to claim up to 99 weeks of unemployment benefits in high-unemployment states for two years

    Yea, cuz those poor lazy crackheads deserve all the help they can get...

    Public Works Job Programs and Aid to Distressed Communities -- includes job programs such as a Park Improvement Corps, Student Jobs Corps, and Child Care Corps

    Government jobs.. Yea, THAT's what we need more of...

    Fair Individual Tax

    Immediately allows Bush tax cuts to expire for families earning over $250K

    You mean small business owners who are already paying millions to cover the new regulations and healthcare costs that Democrats have imposed.\

    Yea.. Raise their taxes. *THAT* will help stimulate the economy..

    Higher tax rates for millionaires and billionaires (from 45% to 49%)

    Which wouldn't do dick for paying down the debt and would just cause millionaires and billionaires to take their money to a tax-friendly country.. Just like what happened in the UK and in France...

    Taxes income from investments the same as income from wages

    This one I really don't have a problem with. But I also don't know the other side of the story, so....

    Fair Corporate Tax

    Ends corporate tax bias toward moving jobs and profits overseas
    Enacts a financial transactions tax
    Reduces deductions for corporate jets, meals, and entertainment

    Another one that really doesn't bother me much.

    Defense

    Returns Pentagon spending to 2006 levels, focusing on modern security needs

    Which is it??

    Focus on MODERN security needs or reduce spending to 2006 levels?

    Because you sure as hell can't do both.

    THIS is what happens when you have bean counters instead of soldiers deciding military matters..

    Health Care

    No benefit cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security
    Reduces health care costs by adopting a public option, negotiating drug prices, and reducing fraud

    If fraud is so easy to reduce, why don't you do that FIRST and then come back for more money??

    Duuuhhhhhh

    Environment

    Prices carbon pollution with a rebate to hold low income households harmless

    Who was the moron that came up with THIS idea!???

    Eliminates corporate tax subsidies for oil, gas, and coal companies

    Yea, because $20 a gallon gas is what this country REALLY needs...

    Jeezus H Chirst, what kind of idiot came up with this plan!!

    ALL taxes and regulations and not ONE SINGLE SPENDING CUT in the bunch..

    I gotta hand it to ya'all.. Ya had me going.

    Ya ALMOST had me believing that Democrats were sincerely interested in spending cuts..

    But if THIS budget is a representation of what a TRUE Democrat is, then it's clear that a TRUE Democrat is living up to the quintessential definition of a Democrat..

    One who loves to spend other people's money..

    Michale

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2013/03/16/bill-maher-california-income-taxes-liberals-you-could-actually-lose-m#ixzz2NiYzskrX

    Ya'all (of the Left) know that you have a problem when Bill Maher comes out and says the "STICK IT TO THE RICH" mentality is completely whacked...

    Michale

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ya'all (of the Left) know that you have a problem when Bill Maher comes out and says the "STICK IT TO THE RICH" mentality is completely whacked...

    At least, ya'all SHOULD...

    Michale

  17. [17] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Keep in mind that I am just a simple ground-pounding knuckle drag'er who views high economic theory as some sort of voodoo magic..

    that's pretty much exactly what it is. i just wish the voodoo shaman types would quit trying to work their mojo on schoolchildren.

    ~joshua

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    that's pretty much exactly what it is. i just wish the voodoo shaman types would quit trying to work their mojo on schoolchildren.

    Yea, but as they say, "Children are the future"..

    Once they're indoctrinated properly, they well be good little voters when they grow up...

    Remember that old Anti-Smoking ad where two tobacco execs are lamenting over a smoker's dying body in the hospital. As they exit the hospital, one says, "Where are we going to find another loyal smoker like Joe?"... Scene cuts to a teenage girl sitting on a chair as the execs eye her as a new prospect..

    I couldn't find the ad on youtube, but it's message goes beyond smoking..

    Those who control the children, control the future... :^/

    Pardon me, but I am feeling very cynical this morning..

    Michale

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    No comments about how this "Perfect Budget" is all taxes and no cuts???

    I am shocked, SHOCKED!!! I tell you!! :D

    Michale

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