Food for Thought: House Progressive Caucus Releases “People’s Budget”


With President Obama’s speech on the budget and how to reduce the federal deficit hitting the headlines today, I thought I’d offer up a morsel of what the left has been thinking about in terms of deficit reduction and budgeting for people to consider as they ponder President Obama’s plan, and the right’s “Path to Prosperity” plan put forth by Rep. Ryan.

I’m not going to go into deep analysis or commentary about this yet, as I’ve just seen both–Obama’s and the House Progressive Caucus’ plans–but I thought it would be good for progressives to know that there is an alternative to Obama’s “balanced” approach to his left.

And I really don’t want to derail Pete’s nice sidelight on the WienerMobile!

Follow the jump to see the highlights of the People’s Budget, as put forth by the House Progressive Caucus.

The People’s Budget
Progressive Caucus People’s Budget FY12

Eliminates National Deficit by 2021

Read the People’s Budget

Read The Technical Analysis and Working Paper

Progressive Caucus co-chairs Raúl M. Grijalva and Keith Ellison sent a memo to House Budget Committee Ranking Member Chris Van Hollen April 6 outlining the Caucus’ top budget priorities. The letter and attached budget information are available at this link. An op-ed by Dr. Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University endorsing the People’s Budget is available at this link (off-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 64.1% by 2021, down 16.5 percentage points from
a baseline fully adjusted for both the doc fix and the AMT patch.
• Reduces deficits by $5.6 trillion over 2012-21, relative to this adjusted baseline.
• Outlays equal to 22.2% of GDP and revenue equal 22.3% of GDP by 2021.

  1. petetalbot

    One difference between Democrats and Republicans is how they negotiate. The Democrats come to the table with moderate proposals that will appeal to middle-of-the-road constituencies. The Republicans come to the table with a slash-and-burn, take-no-prisoners, far-right agenda. And, after some give-and-take on both sides, we end up with right-wing legislation.

    I will say, however, that everything I’m gleaning from Obama’s budget speech is that he finally got aggressive in defending Democratic principles — actually spoke on the philosophical differences between his budget and the GOP’s. Maybe he’s finally getting the message from the left (you know, the folks who worked so hard to get him elected).

    I believe this attack on the Republican’s budget will serve him well, in helping the American people understand what’s at stake, in future Democrat and Republican negotiations, and in his re-election campaign.

    Of course, I’d like it even more if Obama started negotiations with the Progressive Caucus proposals. My quick look at them revealed a reasonable agenda: safety net programs saved, some innovative job creation, a modicum of tax increases for the rich and significant debt reduction.

    Thanks for posting the caucus proposals, JC, even though they trumped my all-important Wienermobile story.

  2. ladybug

    Is it too much to ask for both? Progressive policies, and a limited time tax-deduction for Wiener Mobiles purchased before the end of fiscal year 2012. With Obama’s GE connections, I think the electric model may be right around the corner. Then, Tester throws down another rider on the next defense supplemental to create jobs, and make it the only vehicle federal employees can drive in Montana.

  3. I think the problem you are identifying, Pete, is that liberals are more capable of comprehending subjectivity and subtlety, and so rather than pushing for the most ‘leftist’ policies possible they push for policies that are not only palatable to most Americans, but are also good for the country.

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