Washington, D.C.– Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, today praised the release of Rep. Jan Schakowsky’s detailed budget proposal to reduce the national debt and bring spending priorities more into line with the needs of middle class American families. Schakowsky, who sits on the bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, introduced her budget plan at a press conference earlier today.
The Schakowsky plan would reduce the national debt by $427.5 billion in 2015, surpassing the $250 billion target President Obama gave the Commission when it began its work. The proposal recently put forth by Commission co-chairs Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson would reduce the debt by only $200.3 billion over the same time frame.
Schakowsky urges $110.7 billion in defense savings through cutting unneeded weapon systems and reducing troop levels; increasing government revenue by $132.2 billion by closing unnecessary tax loopholes that promote the offshoring of American jobs; raising an additional $144.6 billion through progressive estate tax reform, treating capital gains and dividends as regular income on tax forms, and enacting a carbon cap and trade proposal that increases government income from the sale of pollution credits; and other measures that either increase revenue or cut spending without harming the overall economy.
A full breakdown of the plan, including revenue streams, budget cuts and proposed outlays, is available in PDF form at this link from Rep. Grijalva’s Web site. The plan includes the creation of a public health care option, which is projected to reduce the debt by an additional $10 billion by 2015.
“From large elements to small, this plan is a vast improvement over the Bowles-Simpson proposal and represents a more thoughtful approach to debt reduction,” Grijalva said. “Our middle and lower class families did not cause our current budget shortfalls – they were largely caused by the avoidable housing crisis, by irresponsible Bush-era wars paid for with borrowed money, and by unnecessary tax cuts for the wealthiest earners. Rep. Schakowsky’s plan reflects the fact that, as she has said so often, the sacrifices of the past several years have all been made by the middle class. It’s time we stopped telling these hard-working families to tighten their belts again for the sake of another millionaire tax cut. We need to bring our taxing and spending in line with reality, and her proposal is a big step in the right direction.”