Outside a packed hearing room on Capitol Hill, where Representative Paul Ryan presided over a mark-up of his draconian budget bill, members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus held a press conference to announce their own plan: the “Budget for All,” which follows along the rough outlines of last year’s “People’s Budget.”
The exact details won’t be released for another day, but some broad outlines were made available by CPC staff: $2.4 trillion in job-creating investments like direct-hire programs, tax incentives and an infrastructure bank; ending the Bush tax cuts for top earners and instituting new tax brackets for millionaires and billionaires, while eliminating preferential treatment of capital gains and dividends; and dramatically reducing defense spending.
The members hope the “Budget for All” provides a substantive counterweight to the Ryan Budget as Congress hashes out a spending plan in the coming months. “What is really all about is getting poor people to pay more, so that the wealthy can have all they have and not have to worry one single bit,” said Representative Jim McDermott. “If you $200 million out of Medicare, and put it into $200 million more military spending, you are crushing the middle class. You are taking away their security in the future. That’s why were offering this budget—we think people ought to have a choice.”