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Katrina vanden Heuvel: Fighting for a People's Budget

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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 03:21 PM
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Katrina vanden Heuvel: Fighting for a People's Budget
from The Nation:

Fighting for a People's Budget

Katrina vanden Heuvel
April 14, 2011

On Wednesday, President Obama spoke in eloquent language of our social contract, of a progressive patriotism, and of a role for government that helps us do together what we cannot do as well for ourselves. It was a clear rebuke to the GOPs Robin Hood in Reverse agendataking from the poor and middle-class in order to preserve tax breaks for corporations and the wealthiest Americans.

Obama made the right choice in defending Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, and pushing instead for healthcare reformeven putting negotiating drug prices on the table. He again refused to renew the Bush tax cuts for the wealthya pledge he has made and broken in the past. He also called for cuts in a defense budget that has contributed 2 out of 3 dollars in increased discretionary spending since 2001.

Yet in many ways his approach continues to legitimize the inside-the-beltway consensus that spending cuts must lead the way toward achieving fiscal responsibility. Just as the Simpson-Bowles Commission proposes, for every $1 raised by closing tax loopholes on wealthy Americans, the President proposes $2 in spending cuts. Two-thirds of those cuts would come from education, health and other social programs, while only one-third comes from the military budget. While the president speaks eloquently of his vision of shared sacrifice, in reality it is still a budget that hits the poor and the middle-class hardest while wealthy Americans and the military are asked to sacrifice far less.

An alternative approach that deserves more attention is the Peoples Budget offered by the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC). It will be introduced in the House on Thursday and it is the strongest rebukein the form of an amendmentto the unconscionable Ryan Budget for FY 2012. Its a budget that gives the peopleaccording to poll after pollexactly what they want (something which shouldnt be a rarity in a healthy, vibrant democracy). ..............(more)

The complete piece is at:

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polichick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 03:40 PM
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1. I agree with Katrina on all counts, and the ending is just right...
"President Obamas speech this week starts to move the budget debate in the right direction. But its up to the people and allies inside Congress to take the struggle to the next level"

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FSogol Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 04:13 PM
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2. K & R. n/t
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