Congressional Progressive Caucus Releases People's Budget

The 80 member Congressional Progressive Caucus developed its own verson of the FY 2012 budget to counter that offered by Paul Ryan (R-WI). "We believe it’s essential to offer a clear contrast to the monumentally reckless Republican proposal, which would lead us down a road to ruin."

"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," says Jeffrey Sachs in the Huffington Post. "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 military spending on wars and wasteful weapons systems."

Sachs calls Paul Ryan’s plan an artless war on the poor that would take a meat-cleaver to Medicaid (health care for the poor), Medicare (health care for older people), food stamps, child care, the environment, and the rest of government other than the military. 

President Obama’s budget, which he calls a center-right  muddled proposal, would keep most of Reagan and Bush-era tax cuts in place, and like Ryan, would keep total taxes at about 20% of GDP. That would result in a major long-term squeeze on vital programs such as community development, infrastructure, and job training. Obama’s plan doesn’t close the budget deficit, which remains as high as 3.1% of GDP in 2021.

The People’s Budget, on the other hand is in the progressive middle, he says. Like Ryan’s plan, it would cut the budget deficit to zero by 2021, but unlike his plan, it would do it in an efficient and fair way.

It would close the budget deficit by raising tax rates on the rich and giant corporations, while also curbing military spending and wrestling health care costs under control, partly by introducing a public option. It would raise tax revenues to 22.3% of GDP by 2021, closing the budget deficit while protecting the poor and promoting needed investments in education, health care, roads, power, energy, and the environment in order to raise America’s long-term competitiveness.

In one opinion survey after the next, the public wants the wealthiest Americans and corporations to pay more taxes. They want to stop runaway health care costs through a public option, one that would introduce competition to drive down bloated private health insurance costs. The public says we should get out of Iraq and Afghanistan and reduce Pentagon spending.

Read the Details on the People’s Budget and this summary:

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Comments on “Congressional Progressive Caucus Releases People's Budget”

  1. texlonghornz2

    where is the total budget and scoring? I only see a few pages, I can make a budget in a few hours if thats the requirement. What are the assumption, GDP growth, CPI-U, 10 year treasury, how does this budget get the most taxes collected as % of GDP than ever in our history? In 1979 receipts as % of GDP were only 19.8%. That is the same year that the top tax rate was 70%. Does anyone know where you can read it in full?

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  2. pdxsteve

    no more cuts at the people’s level. fund schools, build bridges and keep America strong. eisenhower, a member of the gop, said after WW2, “those who profit from a war, should pay for the war”.

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  3. sammmy

    Don’t fall for this phony budget!! What you see here is all that exists, and nothing more!! The PEOPLE’S budget…hmmm.. sounds a lot like The PEOPLE’S Republic of China or The Democratic PEOPLE’S Republic of Korea!! (Nice Try – I challenge the editor to keep this posted)

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  4. Jon

    The people’s budget proposes to fund an insane spending increase by gutting the national defense and by increasing the FICA tax to 90% for every dollar over you or I earn over $106,000 annually. This would utterly destroy all personal incentive to succeed, would remove many spendable dollars from the economy and would turn our nation into an economic disaster. Anyone who thinks this is a good idea needs to take a basic economics course. This is a one-way road to disaster.

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  5. Smokey

    This budget certainly agrees with the New Global Economy as envisioned under Agenda 21 of the U.N.
    If enacted. it makes sure that the U.S.becomes a total socialistic society that has to rely on Big Government for every aspect of living. Why not just turn all earnings over to the Government and then let the Government send us our allowance. That way they can save even more by eleiminating all the different departments. Big Government here we come as outlined by George Orwells 1984.

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  6. J. W.

    Is this CPC so illiterate that it actually believes that taxing those big bad corporations going to work? The pathetic article asserts, “…the public wants the wealthiest Americans and corporations to pay more taxes.” Hello?! Anybody thinking there? This will come as big news to some, but corporations don’t pay taxes; they are conscripted by government to COLLECT taxes for the government! Yes. Every penny a corporation “pays” to government comes from the customers! Every penny. Good grief.

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  7. PistolPete

    To Jon who posted above: Hey bonehead, the proposal is for the rich to BEGIN PAYING regular FICA taxes on 90% of their income over $106,000. Right now they pay ZERO on earnings over $106,000. That’s right, currently if you make say $2 million a year, you pay NO FICA tax on $1.86 million. That seems fair, right?

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  8. bob

    PistolPete — It does actually seem VERY fair. Unless when they retire, they get every penny they put into FICA (social Security) back. What doesn’t seem fair is how everyone thinks that the money ANYONE makes is the right of the government to decide how much stays in his or her pocket and how much gets distributed to those that don’t want to work. America is not the land of the free pass. It’s the land of the free, where you can get rewarded for your success. Well, I should say our forefathers designed it to be that way… today it is the land of the free pass, where you get rewarded for failure.

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  9. tim

    It’s naive to think that you can tax the rich at a much higher level without them changing their behavior to avoid the taxes. Since WWII, the top tax rates have changed drastically (as high as 90+%), but the most the IRS can collect is right around 19% of GDP. Therefore, allowing spending above 19% of GDP is allowing deficit spending by default. Any budget put forth by either party must keep spending at 19% or below or America is doomed to financial insolvency.

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  10. tim

    To PistolPete, Currently, the Medicare portion of FICA (4.9% of income) is uncapped. Only the Social Security portion of FICA (12.4% of income) is capped at $106K. That was because it was viewed as a mandatory retirement savings. Now that it’s become just another welfare program where people live on SS/Medicare for 20+ years, it’s impossible to view it that way.

    The proper fix for SS is to means test it immediately and increase eligibility age starting with people younger than 60 by 2 mos/year (e.g. people age 59 retire at 65 and 2 mos, age 58 at 65 and 4 mos, etc.) till the new eligibility age is 70.

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  11. Douglass

    Is it just me, or doesn’t the Constitution state that the Federal Government’s job is to raise/fund an army? Where is it stated that the Government is to confiscate the money from one person and give it another? Where does it state that the Government’s responsibility is to feed, clothe, provide healthcare, education, prescriptions, parks, and the SmartTalk Hindi school? ( threw that last one in because strangely enough, taxpayers are funding that one too!!) We have gotten so far from our forefathers. What started out as good, kind and thoughtful (or maybe for power) programs has morphed into a Hydra monster!

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  12. Nick4gh

    Grab your wallets, all you “filthy rich” making over $106K a year. Welcome to Utopian States of America, where any distress has a special “med” to make it all go away. What are these supposed elected “leaders” smoking?

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  13. DebbeeTEE

    It does not take an advanced degree in economics to realize that since the top 1% own 40% of the wealth in this country and earn25% of the income-that we are on our way to a complete plutocracy. Ryan’s historically ordinary budget will ensure this disasterous course of events. American exceptionalism should mean that the budget will re invigorate the middle class and promote a way to move upward mobility for anyone. When billionaires get the most– i.e. the most profitable companies in the world get more tax breaks/benefits and get rewarded for shipping jobs overseas– when these same companies can indulge in unchecked price gouging, unfair labor practices–you get a break down of middle class and impoverishment of the majority of Americans. The People’s Budget helps the people of the United States– and reins in greed, promotes social responsibility and invests in infrastructure and productive job growth– This budget proposal is very good for America. Its implementation would restore America’s greatness-now greatly diminished, and strengthen the dollar. Ryan’s will furhter set the course of the dollar losing its status as the world’s currency.. at which time we are all SCREWED.

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  14. Rona Fried

    The 2011 budget that just passed may put us back in a recession – about 400,000 jobs will be lost. The 2012 budget battle will be enormous – I can’t even imagine the negative impact it will have on our economy. Republicans gained so many seats in the 2010 election because they supposedly were going to create jobs – but now they show their real agenda – cutting the government (fed and state level) off at the knees, just when the economy is coming out of a deep recession. Where are the jobs programs? Job creation requires investment, not spending cuts, especially not how. And balancing the budget requires revenues as well as cuts. This is the wrong thing at the wrong time. It’s all about their agenda to let corporations rule unfettered with low wage workers who don’t have a voice (unions), no environmental protection, and no social safety net. Meanwhile, China spends hundreds of billions of dollars INVESTING in its economy – rapid mass transit, renewable energy, health care for all, etc. If loopholes that allow corporations to pay Zero taxes were closed, if millionaires were taxed 3% more as in the Clinton years, and if a small transaction tax were added for big banks (which is necessary to prevent them from collapsing our economy again), it’s been shown that the budget could be balanced, without all these cuts from cherished government programs. Do we want a country where corporations can pollute our air and water, where there’s no oversight on food safety? We need to move forward, not backward.

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  15. texlonghornz2

    @Rona. Where did you learn economics? You can’t add. If millionares wealth was confiscated it wouldn’t balance our budget. Also, do you know the term unintended consequences? A trasnaction tax will just push more costs onto consumers ala bank fee’s right now. Didn’t you progressive’s pay attention in Econ 101? You sure didn’t pass. And China is in a bubble right now and doesn’t invest in healthcare, you kidding right? I agree with the loopholes but that won’t exactly balance our budget, in no year have we ever collected more than 20.2% of revenues as % of GDP. EVER. So we have a spending problem not a tax problem. That includes in the 70% and 90% tax rates of the 40’s and 70’s.

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  16. ron b

    There was a time this country was great. Now it is in decline. I look back at the time it was on the rise and see income tax brackets for the wealthy were higher. Investment was made in infrastructure and education. Small Businesses thrived. American had a sense of community. Perhaps WWII created a sense of pulling together. We created together. People had careeers with a company. I read the great percentage debate raging today, everyone is an economist with a formula that works best for them. Am I naive (probably) there is only one formula at work. It crashed the economy with greed and manipulation, its lobbys insured they kept the profits, got mega bonuses, and lower tax rates. Something is not working.

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  17. Debbietee

    I agree with ron b and Rona Fried- Texaslonghorn- asking millionaires to pya their fair share.. will not destroy them==believe me they will be JUST fine. You do not have to worry about them..
    President Barack Obama says it best: April 13, 2011
    “The fact is, their vision is less about reducing the deficit than it is about changing the basic social compact in America. As Ronald Reagan’s own budget director said, there’s nothing “serious” or “courageous” about this plan. There’s nothing serious about a plan that claims to reduce the deficit by spending a trillion dollars on tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. There’s nothing courageous about asking for sacrifice from those who can least afford it and don’t have any clout on Capitol Hill. And this is not a vision of the America I know.”

    The America I know is generous and compassionate; a land of opportunity and optimism. We take responsibility for ourselves and each other; for the country we want and the future we share.

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  18. becky

    I just knew someone in washington was listening!
    Thank-you for presenting a viable alternative, and please keep pushing. I like your idea for FICA tax. I think it ight work and it avoids “Placing a Burden on Middle-Class Business Owners.” In addition it would save Social Security and fund the private option for comprehensive health care.

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  19. R.Life

    Douglass, The Constitution says that the Federal Government is set up to insure the general welfare of the people.
    Now, you may disagree with what others feel is in the best interest or welfare of the people, but you can’t ignore this part of the Constitution if you want to use the document as a support for your position.
    We have not gotten away from what our Forefathers intended. They set up a government (which is us – or delegates who represent us), and we are supposed to debate, and decide which policies will do the best good for us as a nation.
    The progressive caucus has proposed an idea on how the budget should be set up to make us a better nation. You can disagree with it. You can dislike it. But, please stop saying it has no relationship to what our original founding fathers would have wanted.

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  20. Progressive Calie

    High taxes on the wealthy and investment in America’s infrastructure made this country prosperous. Then, Reagan came along and lowered the tax rates on the wealthy, and deficits grew. Clinton came along and minimally rose the tax rate on the upper end, the economy grew and he left America with a surplus. The, along came the Bush-Halliburton-Cheney crowd, blew up the budget, started two wars and left us in tremendous debt, with little industrial base, an economy in shambles, and conservatives wanting more tax breaks.

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  21. The Voice of Man

    When higher taxes for the rich sends some of the wealth to the middle class it is spent, creating more jobs because of demand and goes right back into the pockets of the rich. This helps the entire population. It does not take away any incentive for the rich to achieve on the contrary maybe they will have to try alittle harder like the rest of us. If the rich don’t want to pay higher taxes to help all (including themselves) I’ll trade places with them’ BOO HOO. Who do these corporations think is going to buy their stuff when the middle class is gone.
    I believe it would balance our budget in 10 years while preserving Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.
    This budget reduces the deficit by 5.6 Trillion dollars with $1.7 trillion in spending cuts to the Department of Defense, by ending our foreign wars that do not keep this country any safer.
    This budget increases revenue by $3.9 Trillion, by immediately ending the Bush tax cuts, and putting in place a Millionaire’s Tax of 49%, which puts the super wealthy back to paying their fair share, as they did from 1940 to 1980, the forty year period of economic growth, in America, that saw the RISE of the middle class. Capital Gains would be taxed as regular income not at 15% like it is now. It would also close Corporate Tax Loopholes, end Big Oil Subsidies, and keeps Wall Street speculation in check by taxing Derivatives.
    The Peoples Budget creates a Public Option for Health Insurance for people who can’t find health insurance, and would cause abusive, for profit, Health Insurance Companies to actually compete in the marketplace.
    The People’s Budget invest $1.4 Trillion in the most important things to our economic recovery, like, Job Creation, Education, Clean Energy, Broadband infrastructure, Housing, and Research and Development, unleashing the 21st century, creating tens of millions of jobs and saving our environment.
    The People’s Budget preserves Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security and raises the cap on Social Security to make sure the rich pays the same percentage of their income as the middle class does.
    Let’s save our Great Country and the Middle Class by passing this bill

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  22. Proud union worker

    This site seems to attract of greedy right wing jerks. You want to worry about how the rich will suffer and we are taking your money to give it to us lazy working class people Problem is all wealth is created not by the CEOs but by the workers you hate. News Flash. We are 90% of the population. If you can succeed in winning your current class war on working people, you better be looking over your shoulder because it won’t be long until we finally rise up and take it all over your carcass. Have a nice day

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  23. Jessica

    Follow the money.There is no trickle down effect. Pay people what they are worth. Everyone pay their fair share of taxes. Make lobbying illegal. Stop pushing democracy down peoples throats, Do not give the rich special privilages,It is a sad day i America when we fund FEMA and then complain about FEMAing. If you do not want to help, then for God’s sake don’t. But do not call this a Christian nation. Mostly because it is not. We have freedom of religion. If balancing the budget is so easy, then by all means do it. So many opinions, so little time. Jesus was a socialist. He fed the multitudes without checking anyones ID. If you have two coats Blah Blah Blah. My point is, I get really weary with all these right wing “Christians” Who basically say God bless us four and no more. It is hard to watch this country go down in flames like this. So much pontificating but no results. This country was built on descent but for one of us to be right someone else has to be wrong. We all see it how we see it. How about some real answers. Like solutions that work. instead of blah blah blah blah.

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  24. Douglas Lynn

    My favorite comment from a Progressive, found on another site, suggested the federal tax rate be raised to 96% on all income over $150,000 and all stock transactions be taxed at the rate of 25%.

    The extreme level ignorance in the Progressive mind is amazing. Unbelievably, there were other Progressives that seemed to think these were good ideas.

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