In a recent televised conversation, Thom Hartmann and I discussed the Congressional Progressive Caucus’ proposed federal budget. The “People’s Budget” would create 8.8 million new jobs, rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, restore SNAP nutritional assistance funding, end sequestration cuts, restore unemployment benefits, expand Social Security benefits, raise taxes on millionaires (to Clinton-era levels), provide public campaign financing – all while reducing the deficit by more than $4 trillion over ten years.
These measures are fiscally sound. They are also, by and large, popular with Americans across the political spectrum. It is, in fact, a surprisingly reasonable and even moderate document, as its deficit-reduction measures demonstrate. In most other moments in recent history, this would be a mainstream political proposal.
Instead the Republican majority is poised to introduce an extremist budget that is based on fiscal voodoo and is wildly out of touch with public opinion. It would privatize (and cut) Medicare, increase wasteful defense spending, cut taxes for the wealthy, and deprive millions of health insurance.
That budget, or some version of it, will pass the House this week.
We can thank the corrupting power of money in politics for that. But that’s why Wednesday’s budget voting is so important. Democrats need to be on record as supporting the CPC’s measures – both to shift the political debate and to provide themselves with a stronger platform to run on in future elections. As of this writing, there is still time to phone your representative and tell them you want them to vote for the Progressive Caucus People’s budget.