The Progressive Budget Vision For America

The Congressional Progressive Caucus, co-chaired by Raul Grijalva (right) and Keith Ellison (left) has a budget plan that, unlike that of Paul Ryan and the Republicans, is not heartless. Here’s what “The People’s Budget” does:

• Primary budget balance by 2014.

• Budget surplus by 2021.

• Reduce public debt as a share of GDP to 64.4% by 2021, down 16.9 percentage points from a baseline fully adjusted for both the doc fix and the AMT patch.

• Reduce deficits by $5.7 trillion over 2012-21 ($1.0 trillion from primary spending, $880 billion from net interest, $2.7 in general revenue, and $1.0 trillion in Social Security payroll taxes).

• Both outlays and revenue equal 22.3% of GDP by 2021.

Here’s how:

1. Extend marriage relief, credits, and incentives for children, families, and education, but let the upper-income tax cuts expire and let tax brackets revert to Clinton-era rates

2. Index the AMT for inflation for a decade (AMT patch paid for)

3. Rescind the upper-income tax cuts in the tax deal

4. Schakowsky millionaire tax rates proposal (adding 45%, 46%, and 47% top rates)

5. Progressive estate tax (Sanders estate tax, repeal of Kyl-Lincoln)

6. Tax capital gains and qualified dividends as ordinary income

Corporate tax reform

1. Tax U.S. corporate foreign income as it is earned

2. Eliminate corporate welfare for oil, gas, and coal companies

3. Enact a financial crisis responsibility fee

4. Financial speculation tax (derivatives, foreign exchange)

Health care

1. Enact a public option

2. Negotiate Rx payments with pharmaceutical companies

3. CMS program integrity and other Medicare and Medicaid savings in the president’s budget.

4. Prevent a cut in Medicare physician payments for a decade (maintain doc fix)

Social Security

1. Raise the taxable maximum on the employee side to 90% of earnings and eliminate the taxable maximum on the employer side

2. Increase benefits based on higher contributions on the employee side

Defense savings

1. End overseas contingency operations emergency supplementals starting in 2013, providing $170 billion in FY2012 funding for withdrawal

2. Reduce baseline Defense spending by reducing strategic capabilities, conventional forces, procurement, and R&D programs

Nondefense investment

1. Invest $1.45 trillion in job creation, education, clean energy and broadband infrastructure, housing, and R&D

2. Infrastructure bank

3. Surface transportation reauthorization bill

4. Finance surface transportation reauthorization by raising the motor fuel tax by 25 cents

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