The Congressional Progressive Caucus has responded to President Barack Obama, who said progressives would have to be “sold” on deficit reduction. Specifically, he claimed that “if you are a progressive, you should be concerned about debt and deficit just as much as if you’re a conservative.”
CPC Co-Chair Raul Grijalva had this to say:
The Progressive Caucus has introduced the only budget that creates a surplus by 2021 because we take seriously the need for a strong economy and manageable debt. Our budget eliminates the deficit in 10 years and creates jobs while protecting the programs our constituents rely on. We stand ready to work with you, as we have throughout this process, to solve the budget impasse in a way that helps rather than punishes the American people. With the House under tea party control and the Senate held hostage by Mitch McConnell, it is up to you to fly the standard of the people who elected you. We feel our budget achieves your policy goals, and we look forward to producing a successful outcome for our economy and our constituents at home.
Importantly, the The Progressive Caucus Budget, known as the People’s Budget, accomplishes this without doing any harm in the near term. Quite the opposite. It includes a stimulus package of public works and infrastructure funding to get people working immediately. It brings taxes back to the Clinton level and makes them more progressive. It ends military overspending and is content with spending a little less than the rest of the world combined on the military, rather than more than it. It taxes financial speculation and includes a public option in health care, too.
In other words, the People’s Budget addresses every single root cause that President Obama said drove the deficit to the heights we see now.
It turns out that our problem is we cut taxes without paying for them over the last decade; we ended up instituting new programs like a prescription drug program for seniors that was not paid for; we fought two wars, we didn’t pay for them; we had a bad recession that required a Recovery Act and stimulus spending and helping states — and all that accumulated and there’s interest on top of that.
So the way out of that is to return the tax revenue to the level it was when we created 23 million jobs, end the wars, get people working again, and change the health care system so it’s cheaper and more effective. Which is almost exactly what the People’s Budget does.
It’s typical to discount leaders who dare to have the correct solutions to our problems. Grijalva isn’t having any of it.