Dueling Budgets

Never trust far-right ideologues with your money.

On March 25, the far-right-Republican-dominated U.S. House of Representatives passed a budget that would, as Daily Kos put it, cause the 1% to celebrate with glee.  That spending bill, while unlikely to get through the Republican-controlled Senate, would, among other things, gut:

  • child tax credits
  • food stamps
  • Medicaid
  • Pell Grants
  • tax deductions for education.

To top off the uber-conservative wish list, the House budget would also end the Affordable Care Act.

There’s an alternative budget, though, that’s in sharp contrast to the Republican budget.  The Congressional Progressive Caucus or CPC recently published what it calls the People’s Budget.  Perhaps the best synopsis of the contrast between these two plans comes from the web site commondreams.org .

To quote them:

The Republican budget is rightly scorned as … dishonest, packed with magic asterisks and budget sleight of hand.  Republicans believe that too many Americans have health insurance, that the poor have too much support, that schools need less money, that college should be less affordable to children from low-wage families.  

Unlike the Republican budget, the CPC spending plan is much more promising.  The CPC budget:

  • establishes new tax brackets for millionaires
  • raises the estate tax for the extremely wealthy
  • taxes the income of investors at the same rates as the income of workers
  • terminates deferral, which allows multinationals to avoid taxes on money earned abroad

Perhaps most important of all the provisions of the CPC budget is the fact that it provides for public financing of elections.  That policy is, of course, anathema to Republicans.  But given the results of the 2014 midterm elections, it might be critical to restoring the ability of the average voter to influence his nation’s policies.


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