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Progressive Budget Plan eliminates deficit by 2021, ignored by establishment media.

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posted on Apr, 23 2011 @ 01:01 AM
I didn't even know there was an alternative to either Obama's budget proposal, or the Ryan plan. But is seems the progressive caucus (here) has proposed an alternative to both these plans and it actually balances the budget 10 years before the Ryan plan, through assorted tax hikes and defense spending. This blog post from the Economist sums it up well:

The [Progressive] budget savings come from defense cuts, including immediately withdrawing from Afghanistan and Iraq, which saves $1.6 trillion over the CBO baseline from 2012-2021. The tax hikes include restoring the estate tax, ending the Bush tax cuts, and adding new tax brackets for the extremely rich, running from 45% on income over a million a year to 49% on income over a billion a year.

Mr Ryan's plan adds (by its own claims) $6 trillion to the national debt over the next decade, but promises to balance the budget by sometime in the 2030s by cutting programmes for the poor and the elderly. The Progressive Caucus's plan would (by its own claims) balance the budget by 2021 by cutting defense spending and raising taxes, mainly on rich people.

The Progressive budget seeks to control runaway healthcare costs largely through the introduction of a public option to compete with private market plans, something a majority of the American public also supports (Source). Analysis after analysis finds that a public option would save money, 68 billion between 2014 and 2020 (when compared to other plans proposed by both republicans and the president) Source. The Ryan plan, by contrast claims that it can control runaway costs by turning Medicare into a voucher program where by the elderly would be required to choose a private market plan. Some considerations with this proposal is the fact that insuring the elderly and disabled is not profitable in the private marketplace, and so private insurance companies would simply refuse to cover them, also, the Ryan plan does not explain how a voucher program would control health care costs, as it is essentially a coupon issued to beneficiaries to buy a private plan under the current system which has health costs increasing at twice the rate of inflation (Source), the vouchers are not a cost control measure. Especially considering, Administrative costs, which can account for nearly 30% of the cost to the beneficiary in private plans, are so much less under government run Medicare; between 2-3% of total claims, as opposed to private plans which are at 17% of total claims. (Source)

Last week I posted a thread about the Ryan plan that also included the results of a recent WSJ/NBC poll of American's opinion on the "deficit debate". Further evidence that the Progressive Plan is reasonable, is that it is also in line with the vast majority of American's opinion. Just to sum up the results again, since this is important:

77% felt it was "mostly or totally unacceptable" to cut Social Security.
77% felt it was "mostly or totally unacceptable" to cut Education
76% felt it was"mostly or totally unacceptable" to cut Medicare
67% felt it was "mostly or totally unacceptable" to cut Medicaid

80% felt would be "mostly or totally acceptable" to tax millionaires
78% felt it would be "mostly or totally acceptable" to eliminate earmarks
76% felt it would be "mostly or totally acceptable" to eliminate necessary weapons systems from defense
74% felt it would be "mostly or totally acceptable" to eliminate tax credits for oil & gas companies
68% felt it would be "mostly or totally acceptable" to "phase out Bush tax cuts for those making over 250,000"

And by the way, of the respondents, 36% identified as "somewhat or very conservative", 38% as "moderate", and only 24% as "somewhat or very liberal" (with the rest being "not sure").


These are HUGE numbers people...these are things that the vast majority of ALL americans can agree on.

And just to sum up, from the plan, what the progressive budget does:
-ends subsidies and welfare for oil and energy companies
-keeps Medicare & Medicaid intact, and introduces a public option to compete with private market plans and the ability to negotiate prescription drug prices through Medicare
-Immediate withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan
-cuts total defense spending (through various departments between 15 and 30%)
-phases out Bush tax cuts and tax breaks for the wealthy (keeps other aspects of the middle class tax cuts)
-raises taxes on the wealthy and corporations

And what these measures will accomplish:

• Primary budget balance by 2014.
• Budget surplus by 2021.
• Reduces public debt as a share of GDP to 64.1% by 2021, down 16.5 percentage points from
a baseline fully adjusted for both the doc fix and the AMT patch.
• Reduces deficits by $5.6 trillion over 2012-21, relative to this adjusted baseline.
• Outlays equal to 22.2% of GDP and revenue equal 22.3% of GDP by 2021.

I'm not saying that this plan is perfect, for example, criticism that it relies to much on tax increases is fair. And personally, I would also like to see an end to the drug war, the NSA/police state, and an elimination of the FED/reliance on central bankers. But, given everything, it is a heck of a lot more fiscally responsible than either Obama's or Ryan's plan, both of which ignore the entire REVENUE side of the deficit equation, and as I pointed out in my previous thread, that huge spending cuts during times of economic downturn actually have the effect of hurting (contracting) the economy and thus are largely self-defeating...spending cuts should be made during times of economic prosperity, not during recessions. We will also have to wait for the CBO to check out all the numbers. However, just comparing this to the Ryan and Obama plans, based on what the majority of Americans say they wanted in the WSJ/NBC poll, and I think the answer is clear as to which is more in line with what the vast majority of Americans say they want PLUS it balances the budget years before either the Obama or Ryan plans. However, the biggest clue to me, is the fact that the establishment media completely ignored this plan (much like they do during the presidential race towards "non-establishment" candidates), while giving preferential treatment to Obama's budget plan, which is nearly as bad, if not, as bad, as the Ryan plan.

However, there are a few news sources that covered the story. This is where I first heard of it: (Source)

But you can also read about it here, here and here.

And this is a good article summing up the hypocrisy surrounding the debate in Washington right now (here)

posted on Apr, 23 2011 @ 01:18 AM
Well as everyone knows, the world is going to end in 2012 so unfortunately this probably won't come to fruition. It was well thought out and you had great resources so this will definitely get a star and flag from me. I personally cannot keep my hopes up that far in advance, but thank you for you the extremely informative thread.

edit on 23-4-2011 by iamhobo because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 23 2011 @ 01:27 AM
reply to post by meeneecat

You know, ALL of these plans suck as they do not address the real issues.

Multi-nationals are allowed to use Slave Labor in another country, relocate US jobs, and have ZERO penalty selling those goods back in the US..... So, Americans loose jobs, Government losses tax revenue from those jobs, Government looses tax revenue from the Multi-national who doesn't pay the US taxes anymore, and THEN they sell their slave products back here in the US with no Tariff.

Meanwhile, we sell our products overseas and are hit with a 20% tariff in places like China.


Pay for our programs with Tariffs PERIOD.

Jobs will come back, revenue will increase, crap will be made here again... PROBLEM SOLVED.

Also, LOWER the corporate tax BUT close all loopholes and our revenue will increase dramatically.

General Electric made over 14 billion dollars in profits last year but did not pay a single penny of that to the U.S. Treasury.

The ultra-rich simply are not going to be taxed into oblivion. They will do whatever it takes to avoid high tax rates.

In fact, it is estimated that a third of all the wealth in the world is now held in “offshore” tax havens.

The truth is that our tax system is completely and totally broken.

Raising or lowering tax rates is not going to make much of a difference at all to the ultra-wealthy and the largest corporations.

#11 Large corporations have become masters at avoiding taxes. Back in the 1950s, corporate taxes accounted for about 30 percent of all federal revenue, but in 2009 corporate taxes accounted for just 6.6 percent.

edit on 23-4-2011 by infolurker because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 23 2011 @ 02:13 AM
reply to post by infolurker

I never said they were perfect. I would make other improvements such as the elimination of the FED, the NSA/security state, drug/war / prison industrial complex, etc.
I would also add to that, the problem that you bring up, which is that American corporations are allowed all the benefits of belonging to this country (i.e. military protection of thier interests & wealth) meanwhile they export American jobs overseas so they can hire slave labor...however this is not the fault of "high corporate taxes" (which is a myth, corporate taxes are not "high", if you look at what corporations actually paid out in taxes last year, two thirds of american corporations paid no taxes whatsoever) Source

Tarriffs might be a good idea, but the idea that we can just keep lowering taxes to the point of eliminating them and that somehow this would be "good" for the country, is ludicrous. We already had 30 years of neo-con / neo-liberal economic & tax policy and it did not work...there is no evidence that one can point to that prove these policies were "good" for the average American. Time to try something different. The fact that most Americans would also disagree with you & this neo-liberal economic agenda is also another major point to my post.

posted on Apr, 23 2011 @ 03:01 AM
reply to post by meeneecat

This progressive plan seems a bit far fetched.
Immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan and Iraq?
Right there this plan is a non-starter. Like that will just POOF happen at the stroke of a pen.

Question: Is the money saved by immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan and Iraq worth the millions of lives that will be lost to the bloodshed of civil war? Is a balanced budget worth another killing fields?
edit on 23-4-2011 by GuyverUnit I because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 23 2011 @ 03:06 AM
Hey, why don't they just use this budget plan - Pay the freakin bills and if you have anything left over, buy nuclear weapons with it! How hard is it to understand? It's a budget! If there is anyone in the federal government who can't understand the word "budget" call Al Gore, he invented this thing called the interweb. They have definitions for words on it and everything. I'm sure Al would be glad to get his fat ass off the couch and help them all out

posted on Apr, 23 2011 @ 03:11 AM
reply to post by GuyverUnit I

Well, we can't just stay there and allow our soldiers to be sitting targets.

Weren't we supposed to have trained police/military forces in both countries to deal with such a withdrawal? How's that coming along?

I think most on here can agree that out of control military spending and fighting more than one war at the same time are two of the causes of the current fiscal situation (along with other causes).

posted on Apr, 23 2011 @ 03:17 AM
reply to post by The Sword

I absolutely agree with you.

But it has been nearly 10 years of sending troops and equipment over there.
It will probably take ten years to get them all out.
And cost just as much to get them out as it did to get them in.

Did the progressives consider this in their budget?

posted on Apr, 23 2011 @ 03:22 AM
reply to post by GuyverUnit I

These are the places we could save some money if we got out of - A-Stan, I-wrek, Japan, germany, Britian, Guam, The entire Persian gulf. The Entire Indian Ocean, Australia, All of South America as a matter of fact, lets just say, if they're US Armed Forces, then they're pulled back to the 48 Lowers, Hawaii, and Alaska. In other words, close everything else, everywhere else, and with the money we save, buy nuclear weapons and drop them on anybody that bothers us using the X-37B, now that's what I call fiscal responsibility! ! !

posted on Apr, 23 2011 @ 05:50 AM
Looks alot better than the Ryan plan, ofcourse thats not hard to do. Im all for bringing the troops home and cutting our military budget in atleast half if not more, its time for someone else to police the world.

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