Texan4Hillary offers his perspective as a movement progressive activist.
Senator Sanders and Representative Schakowsky give the progressive case on the budget on Ed’s Show April 7th:
Senator Sanders does it again on Spitzer’s CNN show as well. Spitzer and Sanders agree: the Democrats brought this crisis on themselves for they did NOT pass a 2011 budget when they controlled the entire government. See video here.
In Texas a massive lobby/protest day on April 6th drew over 5,000 to Austin, and got results. The Texas House just passed the most draconian budget in America- cutting 25 billion dollars from education, healthcare, removing funding for HIV patient programs and way more. 350,000 will lose their jobs if the House gets it’s way. Pressure is mounting on the Texas Senate to cut much less. Right after the capitol was flooded by citizens urging NO to 25 billion in cuts leaders in the Texas Senate announced they was greatly reduce cuts. Priceless :
… Senate budget-writers have been working to soften proposed deep cuts in areas including public education, Medicaid and criminal justice as the state faces a shortfall through the next two years of $15 billion to $27 billion.
Hike in funding seen
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, said Wednesday that the working Senate proposal includes $16 billion more in state and federal funds than the House measure, but he did not detail where the additional state money would come from.
Republican state leaders are against new taxes, and Gov. Rick Perry has limited how much he’s willing for lawmakers to spend from the rainy-day fund….
The Senate plan under development at this point would cut $7 billion from current spending, according to Ogden’s estimate. Ogden cautioned, however, that his figure assumes other programs would stay as currently proposed in the Senate version.
“I’ve said we’ve got three priorities: public ed, health care and criminal justice,” Ogden said. “I think that the Senate’s proposal adequately funds all three of those right now. The question I’m wrassling with is, how much money do we have left for everything else?”
Senate budget-writers are looking for non-tax revenue, as are some House members….
One Texas student nailed it:
Osadeba Omoliaro, a student at PrairieView A and M and representative of the Texas League of Young Voters, said cuts to education would be devastating for students and that young voters will make their voices heard in the next election.
“You can’t make these cuts and kill our dreams,” Omoliaro told the cheering crowd. “You can’t make these cuts and expect us to be quiet.”
While people protest the Right, Congressman Honda of the House Progressive Caucus writes about Ryan’s effort to eliminate Medicare and Medicaid. Better, he discusses a counter budget progressives in Congress have crafted (see it here) as counter to Congressman Ryan’s Medican’t plan:
I have been working with my Congressional Progressive Caucus colleagues, economists and tax policy experts to develop a budget that eliminates the deficit (which Ryan fails to do), puts America to work building a competitive economy, invests in our schools, brings the troops home, protects Social Security and represents a fair deal for working families.
America has stacked the deck against working people. Our budget reverses this trend while cutting $1 trillion in waste. We make the tax code fair, asking wealthiest individuals, corporations hiding money overseas, oil companies raking in record profits and Wall Street banks that gambled away our money to pay their fair share.
We fix roads, bridges and waterways, we build a world-class, high-speed rail system and broadband, we end our addiction to oil and the endless wars that come with it, we meet our obligations to seniors, and we educate our children for the global workforce. Our budget does all this while eliminating the deficit and reducing debt burden. This is the America that lies within grasp, if we stop accepting the spin and start saving this country from itself.
Congresswoman Schakowsky and many Democrats are pushing bravely to raise taxes on the super rich and have presented a new bill to make the upper class pay their share:
(Credit: CBS) While Congress is primarily focused on cutting spending in the debate over reducing the federal budget deficit, some progressive lawmakers say it’s time to start collecting more revenues from the wealthiest Americans.
Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois unveiled a bill … to create new, higher tax brackets for Americans making more than $1 million a year.
“This isn’t about punishment or revenge. It’s about fairness,” Schakowsky said. “It’s about avoiding budget cuts that harm middle class families and those who aspire to it. We can choose to cut education, job creation and health care, or we can choose to ask those who can contribute more to do so.”
Currently, the top tax bracket begins at an income of $373,000 per year; income above that level is taxed at 35 percent. Schakowsky contends this fails to distinguish between the “well off” and the superrich, such as a group of hedge fund managers whose average income last year topped $1 billion.
Schakowsky’s bill, called the Fairness in Taxation Act, would tax income between $1 million and $10 million at a rate of 45 percent. Income between $10 and $20 million would be taxed at a rate of 46 percent, and income between $20 and $100 million would be taxed at 47 percent.
Income between $100 million and $1 billion would be taxed at a rate of 48 percent, and income over $1 billion would be taxed at 49 percent. For those making over $1 million a year, capital gains and dividends would also be taxed as income.
Schakowsky claims the bill could raise more than $78 billion for the government.
“A tax system where families earning several thousand dollars are taxed at the same rate as millionaires is unfair, and unsustainable,” Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.), one of the bill’s co-sponsors, said Wednesday. “At a time when House Republicans are demanding that working families, teachers, and firefighters bear the burden of reducing the deficit, millionaires should be required to contribute their fair share.”
The bill’s other co-sponsors include Reps. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), the co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus; Reps. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-Ill.); Bob Filner (D-Calif.); Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.); Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.); John Yarmuth (D-Ken.); and Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon)…
We must raise revenue and NOT slash billions from the budget. You cut those billions and those are jobs and help for the suffering. Period.
Senator Franken came out with his Pay for War Resolution. This legislation would require congress to pay for our wars upfront with taxes in combination with or without cuts. A novel idea: paying for war and not charging it on our credit card! Franken and Senate liberals are pushing it. And it has incredible support:
A diverse range of groups and individuals have already lent their support to the resolution. In a letter for endorsement from the Center for American Progress Action Fund, Senior Fellow Lawrence J. Korb said the resolution would “help restore fiscal discipline to our defense budget process,” while the Cato Institute’s William A. Niskanen, Chairman Emeritus and Distinguished Senior Economist, and Benjamin Friedman, Research Fellow in Defense and Homeland Studies, noted that “deficit financing sends war bills to future taxpayers,” the effect of which “is to make war feel cheaper” than it really is.
Michael O’Hanlon, a foreign policy and defense budget expert at the Brookings Institution, called the resolution “serious and smart,” while Maya MacGuineas, President of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, which endorsed the legislation, called it “a sensible approach to ensuring that we budget for war.” David M. Walker, Former Comptroller General of the United States, said “the Pay For War Resolution makes sense.” The Bipartisan Policy Center, which also endorsed the legislation, said “Congress and the president should adhere to the principles of pay-as-you-go throughout the budget”“war funding should not be exempt.”
American University International Relations Professor Dr. Gordon Adams said, “This proposed resolution could help open an important discussion about how we can restore some of the fiscal discipline we lost over the defense budget.” And Dean Baker, Co-Director, Center for Economic and Policy Research, said, “If we think that a situation requires the men and women in our military to risk their own lives, then the rest of us should at least be willing to pay for the cost of this adventure with our tax dollars.”
We so need a laugh these days and than the stars for this hot youtube video.
Congresswoman Biggert (R) abhors talking about jobs. The Progressive Caucus has a smart video out on the Right’s job plan: