Rachel Maddow spoke with Matt Miller of the Washington Post about the People's Budget, and why it is the most serious plan for balancing our budget, while maintaining America's core values of liberty and justice for all.
"The caucus's co-chairs, Raul Grijalva of Arizona and Keith Ellison of Minnesota, released it on April 6th. The budget savings come from defence cuts, including immediately withdrawing from Afghanistan and Iraq, which saves $1.6 trillion over the CBO baseline from 2012-2021."
The Prog caucus budget would balance the books by 2021 (Ryan, by 2040, Obama by something in between). It would reduce deficits by $5.7 trillion by then. It would take publicly held debt as a percentage of GDP down to under 65% by then (it is now about 73% and expected to go higher).
"In passing, Miller also draws attention something that's gotten far too little attention in this debate. The most fiscally responsible plan seems to be neither the Republicans' nor the president's. It's the Congressional Progressive Caucus plan, which relies heavily on tax increases and cuts to defense spending."
Yes, I know: The Democrats' plans are no better on the debt (though it must be noted that the Congressional Progressive Caucus plan wins the fiscal responsibility derby thus far; it reaches balance by 2021 largely through assorted tax hikes and defense cuts).
"I think that actually the progressive plan will be useful, in that it will pressure Obama to hold his line instead of making further compromises in the direction of Paul Ryan. That way we won't end up with a compromise that's further out in the wrong direction. But then, unlike Milbank, I'm assessing the utility of this gambit from the vantage of the actual humans who will be impacted by the policy proposals, and not from the perspective that says policy is a means to the end of getting a president re-elected."
This morning, the House debated the budget proposal put forth by the Congressional Progressive Caucus, a response to the budget drafted by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). During the debate, CPC member Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) asked Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN) when the Ryan budget would balance and create a surplus. After hemming and hawing for a few seconds, Rokita ultimately couldn't come up with an answer.
An alternative approach that deserves more attention is the "People's Budget" offered by the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC). It will be introduced in the House on Thursday and it is the strongest rebuke – in the form of an amendment – to the unconscionable "Ryan Budget" for FY 2012. It's a budget that gives the people – according to poll after poll – exactly what they want (something which shouldn't be a rarity in a healthy, vibrant democracy).