Progressive 'Back to Work' Budget Wins Praise for Anti-Austerity Approach
"A reminder that we don’t need to cut teachers and school lunches when we can eliminate wasteful giveaways to fossil fuel corporations." - Jon Queally, staff writer
In the midst of ongoing hysteria about a non-existent deficit crisis' in Washington, the Congressional Progressive Caucus on Wednesday unveiled an alternative approach to destructive austerity economics by releasing their 'Back to Work Budget plan for 2014.
Pushing back specifically on the dominant talking point of inside-the-Beltway elites, the budget challenges the idea that cutting programs, reducing corporate tax rates, and slashing investments is a pathway to economic prosperity. Its proponents argue the US does not have "a deficit crisis"—as those pushing for steep cuts suggest—but rather, "a jobs crisis."
Presented by CPC co-chairs Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva and Keith Ellison and backed by members of the caucus' Budget Task force—Reps. Jim McDermott, Jan Schakowsky, Barbara Lee and Mark Pocan—the plan describes how smart investments, not deep cuts to key programs, would create almost 7 million jobs over the first year of its implementation.
“Americans face a choice,” Grijalva and Ellison said. “We can either cut Medicare benefits to pay for more tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, or we can close outdated tax loopholes and invest in jobs.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 to near 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.Received as a breath of fresh air of economic sanity, the plan was praised by a variety of individuals and groups.
“If you listen to the budget debate in Washington too long, you almost start to believe that austerity is inevitable, and that the only choice left is how to allocate the suffering," said Ben Schreiber, a policy analyst for Friends of the Earth. "It is refreshing that the House Progressive Caucus has come up with a positive vision for moving the country forward. It serves as a reminder that we don’t need to cut teachers and school lunches when we can eliminate wasteful giveaways to fossil fuel corporations."..... More HERE.