Wednesday, March 21, 2012
The long-term budget plan introduced to great fanfare by House Republicans yesterday now has an alternative from the left, courtesy of DFL Rep. Keith Ellison and other members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, made up of the most liberal members of Congress.
Like the Republican budget, entitled "The Path to Prosperity," the CPC's budget has a catchy name, the "Budget for All." And like the GOP document, the CPC promises reduced deficits.
From there, the two documents go in radically different directions, with the Republican budget emphasizing austerity for social programs, increased defense spending and sharply lower tax rates. The CPC version emphasizes new spending programs for infrastructure, defense cuts and increased taxes on the wealthy.
The contrast is intentional, said Ellison, who co-chairs the CPC.
"In the Republican vision for America, the Medicare guarantee is stripped from our parents and grandparents, Wall Street greed is rewarded while the middle class continues to shrink and more of our tax dollars are handed over to millionaires, billionaires and the corporate special interests who can afford an army of lobbyists," said Ellison.
The two documents have something else in common: the Republican version will get a committee and likely floor vote in the U.S. House but it's a dead letter in the Democratic-controlled Senate. The CPC budget is unlikely to get a vote of any kind in the Republican-dominated House.