Progressive Dems’ Budget Proposes Raising Taxes, Ending Wars

By Rachel Christiansen

The House Progressive Caucus introduced their own deficit reduction today, which counters the plans put forth by President Obama and Republican Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

Entitled, “The People’s Budget,” the plan has almost no shot of being passed. It mainly proposes cutting defense spending and increasing taxes as a means of slicing the deficit by $5.6 trillion over the next decade. The plan, according to progressive lawmakers, would create a surplus of $30.7 billion by 2021.

On taxes, $3.9 trillion worth of savings would come from revenue increases. The plan would sunset the Bush tax cuts at the end of next year, eliminate subsidies to oil companies and raise rates on almost all individual taxpayers and corporations. In addition, it would increase capital gains taxes and impose a “financial responsibility fee” on big Wall Street firms.

It would, however, keep in place several popular tax credits that generally benefit members of the middle class. Lawmakers said Wednesday that their plan “implements a fair tax system based on the American notion that fairness and equality are integral to our society.”

On defense, the plan proposes cutting the Pentagon’s budget by $2.3 trillion over the next ten years, and ends the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan. In a statement, members of the caucus said “We end these wars not simply to save massive amounts of money or because the majority of America is polling in favor to do so, but because these wars are making America less safe, are reducing America’s standing in the world, and are doing nothing to reduce America’s burgeoning energy security crisis.”

“Under the People’s Budget, we finally bring the troops home,” added Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif), one of the caucus’ 83 members.

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