Conrad’s 50-50 Proposal Is a Good Sign

Washington, DC — Roger Hickey, co-director of the Campaign for America’s Future commented on reports that Senate Democratic Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) will present a “50-50” plan for deficit reduction; according to The Hill, the Conrad plan would “balance the burden of reducing the deficit roughly 50-50 between increasing tax revenues and cutting government spending.”

Roger Hickey, co-director of the Campaign for America’s Future said:

“The Conrad proposal is the first strong Democratic proposal that has come out of these negotiations. Of course the devil is in the details, but 50-50 could be a fair deal for Americans. Let me be clear about what a fair deal would include: No deal without the rich and big corporations sharing in the sacrifice. No deal that would harm the essential programs of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. No deal that takes more out of the programs for middle income and poor Americans than it takes from tax breaks, loopholes and havens for the rich and the big corporations, and no deal that undermines the economic recovery.

“We encourage Senator Conrad, the President and all the negotiators to stand up for the American people and not shift the burden of the deficit down to the people who need government help the most including sick, elderly and disabled people.”

Referring to activist campaigns by his organization, Hickey said, “Thousands of Americans have asked Democratic leaders to reject Republican proposals to cut needed programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. And thousands of Americans have asked the negotiators to remember that shared sacrifice includes making sure that millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share of taxes.

“It is vital that Senator Conrad and the budget negotiators work to make sure that the most vulnerable Americans will not be forced to pay for the mess created by Wall Street’s excesses.”

The Conrad plan would cut the deficit by more than $4 trillion over ten years. According to The Hill, a one-to-one ratio of new tax revenues to spending cuts, tax increases and the elimination of special tax breaks would total more than $2 trillion.

Campaign for America’s Future’s leaders have been often critical of Sen. Conrad for being too focused on the deficit at a time when the economy is faltering, but Hickey recently published a piece in the Huffington Post praising Senate Budget Chairman Conrad for his criticisms of the House Republican Budget introduced by Rep. Paul Ryan that almost all House Republicans voted for.