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So, I want to start this diary under the presumption that we got taken to the cleaners last night, and that we'll continue getting taken to the cleaners as the budget fight proceeds throughout the year.  I'm not sure exactly what got cut, but I know the Republicans got a huge number and that they got it by playing a weak hand extremely well.  We need to undercut their hand in the future.

We need a budget proposal of our own, a progressive one that we can stand against Paul Ryan's extremism, a budget that will cut 4 trillion dollars from the deficit but will maintain and extend the values of government that define us as progressives.

We need that budget as an actual bill before the Congress, one that House and Senate Democrats can rally behind and one that the President can actually fight for.

We don't have anything like that now.  We have a sensibility among progressives of what the budget should be, of what the role of government should be.  We object to and reject the Republican assault on government, but we have nothing positive we can stand behind, no unifying banner that will unite us and give shape and direction to our fight.

We have no budget, and we need one.  So in this diary, I propose we -- Daily Kos -- write a budget and present it to our Democratic representatives.  And then we back our representatives to the hilt when they fight for our budget, the Democratic one that saves government as we know it.

If you agree this is a good idea, vote in the poll, rec the diary, and follow me over the flip for details on how we can do it.

Our budget needs to do, at a minimum, the following things:

- it needs to raise taxes on the rich in order to reverse the trend towards income inequality that is destroying our way of life.

- it needs to control the cost of entitlement programs without gutting those programs' ability to provide the critically-needed services they were designed to do.

- it needs to promote green energy and take real steps to reverse global warming.

- it needs to pass a CBO review certifying that it will result in a minimum of $4 trillion in savings over the next ten years.

I'm not a budget person, and I'm not sure how to get these things accomplished.  We may need to eliminate the income tax, for example, and replace it with a VAT in order to maintain economic competitiveness while at the same time restoring progressivity to the tax code.  We may need to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with a nationwide single-payer program in order to save Medicare and Medicaid but also arrest their spiraling increases in costs.  We will almost certainly have to increase the income ceiling on FICA contributions to address the coming deficits in Social Security.  And we may need a carbon tax to finance the transition to a green energy economy.

All of those specific proposals, however, are just brainstorm ideas, ways that might help us get to our four basic principles of a progressive tax structure, entitlement reform, and green energy in a fiscally-sound budget.  All of the specific ideas, that is, are negotiable.  What is not negotiable are the basic principles, as they are what define us as liberal Democrats.

I propose Daily Kos take this up seriously, that the front page itself get involved in developing real and sustainable numbers (could they hire Stiglitz and others to work on an actual proposal?), that kos himself present a worked-out proposal either to an individual member of Congress (Schakowsky maybe) or to the Progressive Caucus, that we get an actual CBO score, and that we push our proposal as a viable alternative to Ryan's extremism.

The fight in WI against Walker and the Fitzgeralds should inspire us all to do more, and to do it better, to defend progressive government in the United States.  Ryan, we need to remember, represents the same state chapter of the GOP as the one that has sparked the nationwide resurgence of the labor and progressive movements.  Presenting our own alternative to Ryan's budget will give us a banner to rally around, and it will also make it easier to link Ryan to Walker.

If you agree this needs to be done, vote in the poll, rec the diary.  Once we get the strategic idea established, we can work out the details of how to get it done.

Originally posted to litho on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 03:23 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

Poll

Daily Kos should write a budget proposal that cuts $4 trillion and maintains progressive values

26%26 votes
59%59 votes
7%7 votes
3%3 votes
5%5 votes

| 100 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (21+ / 0-)

    Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
    ¡Boycott Arizona!

    by litho on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 03:23:51 AM PDT

    •  First, surtax on the wealthy (11+ / 0-)

      It's in the Senate now.  It needs to be 6% on all family incomes over $200,000 and stays in effect until the budget is balanced or ALL the Bush tax cuts are repealed.

      2nd Defense spending locked at 2010 levels, no increases for inflation.

      3rd: VAT!  A value added tax is the way the rest of the world is beating us in the market place and it prevents the rich from avoiding paying any tax at all.  Taxing consumption rather than production is also good for jobs and the environment.

      4th:  Those freaken hedge fund managers should pay income tax not capital gains.

      5th:  A surtax on any extractive industry, and an elimination of all subsidies.  Oil, Coal, Forests, Minerals...  We need to pay the real price for ripping finite things out of our planet.

      6th: Repeal of Medicare Part D. It's nothing but an insurance give away.

      7th:  A plan that locks all federal employee salaries to growth in GDP.

      8th: Pay as you go plan.  No increase in expenditures without increase in revenues.

      and More

      •  A surtax on the wealthy and oil companies,, (10+ / 0-)

        specifically to pay for our ongoing military adventures. Every  time some putz like Bill Kristol pushes for more involvement we need to know upfront the cost and who is paying it.

        "Education is dangerous - Every educated person is a future enemy" Hermann Goering (NRSC?)

        by irate on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 05:18:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Those look like good ideas (6+ / 0-)

        but I can't take them to Congress and say "if we do this, we'll save $4 trillion over ten years -- and save the federal government as we know it."  If we leave the budget process in Obama's hands, he'll almost certainly wind up accepting huge portions of Ryan's budget plan, including possibly Ryan's effort to eliminate Medicare.

        Let's get some budget professionals to draw up a viable and comprehensive budget plan that saves the feds money, retains the social safety net, and promotes investment and production in the US, present that to Congress, and then fight like hell to get that budget passed.  Are you on board?

        Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
        ¡Boycott Arizona!

        by litho on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 05:19:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Time is of the essence (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          litho, ybruti, tekno2600

          Getting economists to propose something to congress will take far longer than we can wait.  By the time we agree on economists, then they agree on a plan, then they propose to some congress people, than the Dems talk about it...
          The battle will have been long over.

          There are 2 more, far more serious, budget battles coming up within the month.  We progressives need to come up with some ideas we can agree on to give weight to the proposals that are already in the congress.  DailyKos does have some weight and a general agreement on some ideas could have influence.

          I am willing to continue your request for a budget plan ( I was actually planning on writing a similar diary) with my own diaries, to keep this idea alive, for as many days as it takes.  It really is important

        •  Hear, hear (0+ / 0-)

          I am the fellow citizen of every being that thinks; my country is Truth. ~Alphonse de Lamartine, "Marseillaise of Peace," 1841

          by notdarkyet on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 03:17:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  There must be some progressive leaning lobbyists (0+ / 0-)

          that someone knows who could get the ball rolling on this. They would know some of the details of federal budgeting. I think you should focus on identifying some people who could start outlining this first, because it takes quite a while to write up a whole proposal. But, remember when the Republicans put out their alternative to ACA that was the size of a comic book? We could at least do better than that...as a start.

          When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in a Glenn Beck and carrying a Sarah Palin.

          by tekno2600 on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 07:49:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Wrap a REAL energy plan into the budget (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        litho, KS Rose, ManhattanMan

        It won't matter what Budget you come up with if you don't have a plan to pull the fossil fuel needle out of America's economic arm.

        A subsidy for non-fossil fuels (except the worthless corn ethanol), payed for by a tax on all fossil fuels.

      •  I've been pounding number 5 for years (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ybruti, pollwatcher

        now.  We are being ripped off.  That is our wealth as a nation, that and labor.  It must be priced at it's real value.  Mining and other extraction laws are over a hundred years old.

        I am the fellow citizen of every being that thinks; my country is Truth. ~Alphonse de Lamartine, "Marseillaise of Peace," 1841

        by notdarkyet on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 03:16:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  wow. yeah doomed to fail. (0+ / 0-)

        1.  So if someone has 4 kids, and a wife that stays home with the kids, they get screwed.
        2. No.  How about we not pass bills that give the military what they don't want?
        3.  The Poor will love this one.
        4. Punish the successful enough and well.
        5. Don't we already have surtaxes for this?
        6. Oh no you didn't.  Seniors vote you know?
        7. All or just some?
        8.  We already have PayGo.  It's wildly successful too!

  •  I am a bit confused, however. (0+ / 0-)

    I could not agree more on the importance of producing our own budget in response to Ryan's. Otherwise, it is we who shall become the party of no.

    My confusion is with the process involved. The President has already submitted his budget proposal, and now so has the House with Ryan's proposal.

    Thus any 3rd proposal would have to originate in the Senate. If this happens, and the proposal roughly conforms to the diarist's outline, then we would have 3 budget proposals, each of which would be radically different from the others.

    This might all be too much. I know, the horses are already out of the barn, but one would sure wish we could have a do-over on the President's proposal in order to keep the argument to just 2 versions of the country's budgetary future.

    Otherwise, I fear it is going to be a long year...

    What's The Matter With Kansas? -Nothing. Folks like to have their dreams, is all.

    by RyanBTC on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 04:20:50 AM PDT

    •  We need to fire up the base (7+ / 0-)

      as well as move the Overton Window back from where Ryan's budget puts it.

      An unabashedly progressive budget would do both of those things in a way the president's does not.  It may have to originate in the Senate, but the point is to have a budget proposal out there worth fighting for.  Let it come from the grassroots -- from us -- and let's push the politicians to fight for what we believe in.

      Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
      ¡Boycott Arizona!

      by litho on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 04:42:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You make my point (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Terra Mystica, bnasley, GeorgeXVIII
        move the Overton Window back from where Ryan's budget puts it

        This implies a linear argument, i.e. 2 budget proposals. A third would mean a triangle, which results in

        triangulation?

        I'm not saying we don't need our own proposal, we do. It's the mechanics that have me confused.

        What's The Matter With Kansas? -Nothing. Folks like to have their dreams, is all.

        by RyanBTC on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 04:48:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Don't look at it as a triangle (4+ / 0-)

          but rather as a continuum.  We might wind up somewhere near the president's proposal, but we need a radical counterweight to Ryan's proposal now.

          Otherwise, the president's rather moderate budget -- which already contains a great number of compromises Democrats are uncomfortable with -- becomes the starting point from which concessions are made, rather than the middle point at which Democrats and Republicans have to agree in order to continue going forward.

          Does that make more sense?

          Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
          ¡Boycott Arizona!

          by litho on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 05:11:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  President's budget sucks! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bnasley

      We KNOW we need to do something to increase jobs, then balance the budget.  The President's budget does neither!

  •  A VAT is regressive (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ybruti
    We may need to eliminate the income tax, for example, and replace it with a VAT in order to maintain economic competitiveness while at the same time restoring progressivity to the tax code.

    It's basically a sales tax, so at the baseline it's a terribly regressive tax.  Our income tax is one of the more progressive out there; the problem is that so much revenue comes from sales taxes and state income taxes, both of which tend to be fairly regressive.
    •  re: progressivity: a few weeks ago there was (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GeorgeXVIII

      a meme going around the blogosphere about how our income tax code is more progressive than EU ones.  Now that I think about it, though, I really can't vouch for those claims.  I remember thinking the argument was reasonable, but I really didn't do the sort of due diligence and fact-checking that would enable me to repeat the claim.

      So, let me retract that, and say in its stead that our income tax code is reasonably progressive, and certainly more progressive than VAT or sales taxes.

      •  I know that VAT's are more regressive (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pollwatcher, bnasley, GeorgeXVIII

        than income taxes, but our income tax has been moving in a regressive direction for some time now.  As taxes and fees for government services continue to go up on the middle class and go down for the wealthy, as they have been some time and would explosively under the Ryan budget, our tax structure will become even more regressive in the future.

        Economists (I am not one) say that income taxes act as a disincentive for investment while VATs can be specifically targeted in order to increase their progressivity.  For example, you could exempt food and other primary necessities from any taxation, while increasing the VAT on luxury items.

        The point is that we need to be flexible about the specific mechanism the government raises revenue.  We do, however, need to increase revenue, and we need to do it in a way that both promotes economic growth and reintroduces progressivity into the tax structure.

        Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
        ¡Boycott Arizona!

        by litho on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 05:08:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  A simple way to make income tax more (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ManhattanMan, GeorgeXVIII, lilnev, neroden

          progressive would be to tax all income--including capital gains and dividends--as ordinary income. That would more than double the tax owed on most such income...and it would be a good, simple straightforward proposal. We should call that a "fair tax"...Tax all income the same, dividends, royalties, wages, etc., all the same. It would increase taxes on the rich without saying "increase taxes on the rich."

          "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

          by Alice in Florida on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 05:07:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  A few notes: (0+ / 0-)

            First, it is absolutely necessary to maintain the capital / ordinary categorical distinction. The purpose of that is to avoid allowing ordinary income to be offset by capital losses, which would be a huge tax cut for the investing class. You would tailor your risk profile to your expected ordinary earnings and be able to pay almost no tax.

            Second, the rationale for a low capital gains rate that I have found most persuasive is that it the capital gains tax creates a lock-in effect that results in an inefficient allocation of capital. In other words, the tax creates a rather powerful disincentive to cash out of capital investments even where it would be more beneficial to shift your investments elsewhere. The only real solution to this problem other than keep tax rates low is mark-to-market taxation for a wider range of investments, which I think is worth considering.

    •  No, it doesn't have to be, it's needed (4+ / 0-)

      There are many ways to make a VAT progressive.

      Just increase the VAT on higher priced items.

      Exempt food.

      Tax credits for low income.

      We need a VAT.  It's a way that guarantees the rich pay their fair share without loopholes.  It makes the rich either invest, or pay taxes.

    •  VAT is not regressive... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tekno2600

      ...as long as we give subsidies (healthcare, food stamps, school vouchers, etc.) to the poor and middle class.

      Also, the day that a VAT is imposed, all rich people take an immediate one-time hit to their purchasing power. If the VAT is 10%, each millionaire can now only consume $900,000 worth of goods.

    •  Progressivity of taxes is often a red herring (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      neroden, litho

      that stops people from considering certain types of taxes, but there are plenty of ways you can address that. You can exempt food and basic items from a VAT, and even tax certain low levels of consumption at a much lower rate. But, discouraging over consumption is a good idea, especially for luxury goods. I do not think the VAT is as regressive as you make it sound. VAT taxes the value added at each stage in the creation of products. It only gets passed on to consumers when or if they buy certain things. So, it is not something that automatically occurs just because you have a job and make money. Overall, it appears to be harder for businesses and rich people to beat the tax.

      The funny thing about our allegedly progressive income tax system right now is that all the rich people actually pay a much lower percentage of their income than the people at the bottom. Warren Buffet is famous for saying he pays less than 14% on his income, while his secretary pays about 25% of hers. So, our current system claims to be progressive, but in reality is not. I think there should be much higher taxes on luxury goods and high value real estate.

      When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in a Glenn Beck and carrying a Sarah Palin.

      by tekno2600 on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 08:13:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  here's a meme (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    litho, ybruti, bnasley, mommyof3, GeorgeXVIII

    that needs to become a chant, "Money for human needs and not for war."

    Tax cuts and an insane and obscene military budget - those are two legs of the problem.  They can both be addressed.

    There is a deficit neutral jobs bill being proposed by Rep. John Conyers (HR870), co sponsored by Jesse Jackson Jr & Danny Davis - it is funded by a transaction tax on Wall Street.

    Actual progressive ideas that worked in the past WILL work again.

    "never trust a rich man when he offers you a truce"

    by KibbutzAmiad on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 06:03:36 AM PDT

  •  And stop starving environmental regulation, (6+ / 0-)

    commerce regulation, and permitting agencies, so that we can have meaningful inspections and enforcement of our laws.  This means properly funding the EPA, OSHA, MSHA, FDA, DOL DOI, USDA, FERC, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, etc.

  •  No one knows what actually will be cut yet (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    litho, arpear

    because they passed the bill without deciding on the cuts, just agreeing on a number, and no policy riders.

    Now, they are deciding what to cut and the bills will be voted on and pass both houses on Monday I believe.

    I'm not sure exactly what got cut, but I know the Republicans got a huge number and that they got it by playing a weak hand extremely well.  We need to undercut their hand in the future.

    "I've taken up sculpting recently. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 03:31:48 PM PDT

    •  We don't need to know what the final cuts will be (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eXtina, GeorgeXVIII

      but I can tell you now- it will screw the poor and middle class.  It won't do anything to improve the lives of the middle class and the poor.

      It will be worse, and I have two years history to show it will with President Obama selling out his base to back me up.

      "I'm not scared of anyone or anything, Angie. Isn't that the way life should be?" Jack Hawksmoor

      by skyounkin on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 04:13:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You've just contradicted yourself. You don't need (0+ / 0-)

        to know the cuts, you just know they will hurt the middle class? You can't know who will hurt if you don't know what will be cut! Read the budget before making claims like that.

        Do not let your passion cloud your reason.

        by arpear on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 07:46:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  cut the middle classes left hand, (0+ / 0-)

          its right hand, its feet, its tongue, its eyes, it'll still hurt. We know it won't be the upper class suffering any cuts.

          "I've taken up sculpting recently. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

          by eXtina on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 08:47:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Well, we know what won't be cut (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eXtina

      war spending. That's been made crystal clear.

      "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

      by Alice in Florida on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 05:10:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Present a "Federal Spending Cap" bill. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The BigotBasher, ybruti, ManhattanMan

    Suggest to the House membership that no Sate can get more back from the Federal coffers more than it contributes to the Federal coffers.

    Take their agenda and put it to use on them, for a damn change...

    ...then watch the Republican House membership (the ones with functioning gray matter, anyway), especially from the South & West, turn green; though it won't be from envy...

    At this point in time, I've little faith in any reasonable discussion of the Federal budget, so I'll go for political "gamesmanship" which is one big "F-U, teabagger freaks!"  Cut off the "welfare" to the majority Repugnant Red "welfare" States and see how they enjoy having their own "austerity philosophy" shoved right up their collective asses.

    Let those legislators go home and explain their support for austerity while cutting the heart out of their own States.

    I'm so done giving a rat's patoot about being reasonable and adult.

  •  Don't forget the loopholes (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ybruti, arpear, GeorgeXVIII

    that allow the Bernie Sanders Ten to get away with paying nothing in taxes -- and in some cases profit from the existing tax system.

  •  had these thoughts last night... (0+ / 0-)

    work up a budget solution by way of the crowd-sourcing of both information/knowledge and maintenance of a system of documenting the solution paths.

    . document the problem.  start with accepted figures and projections.  (CBO et al)

    . document the solutions.  track the assumptions and paths each takes, fiscally.  there will be many. (working solution paths)

    . this is a decision tree.  it's combinatorics explode but specific paths along the way to a single or at least a small set of solutions are tractable.  (prune the solution tree)

    . the need to have lots of eyeballs helping to cross check things and challenge assumptions and provide figures and protocols on this is exactly the sort of thing crowd sourcing can do well at if mananged properly. (crowd sourceing the work of verifying how things work at the legal/legistlative level)

    . or something like that.

  •  I like this idea (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    litho, ybruti

    and think that a good place to start, before talking any budgetary figures, is to create a bullet point of what we progressives believe in...  Something like Litho's plan is as much a symbolic and performative action as anything else. Like Martin Luther's decree, our plan needs a sense of theatrics..  a manifesto: "here is what we believe; the logic of a budget is drawn from this." I think this will make the budget specifics much easier to create and to justify.

  •  YES! But don't stop at $4 trillion (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ybruti, GeorgeXVIII

    Amazing... I just sent emails to epi.org, Anthony Weiner, and Bernie Sanders asking for them to lead the same thing this morning.  Doing it on Daily Kos is a great idea!

    But, don't stop at $4 trillion in saving.  Completely eliminate the deficit in 10 yrs!  It was created in 10, it can be eliminated in 10 (or less).

    Increase revenue:
    1) We don't need surtaxes on the wealthy.  Just raise the income tax rate back to what it was under Clinton
    2) Tax capital gains as regular income
    3) Reform the corporate tax system to remove offshore tax havens that companies like GE use
    4) End subsidies for established industries and farms
    5) Create an infrastructure spending program (green energy and transportation) that will reduce unemployment and increase tax revenue

    Decrease spending:
    1) SINGLE PAYER.  (or Medicare for all or even a public option)  Everyone talks about it, but we need a real study on what this would save the US.
    2) End the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan (and maybe end military involvement in Libya, too)
    3) Further reductions in the Pentagon budget, including shutting down many of the estimated 700+ bases we have worldwide

    •  Some quick savings estimates... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ybruti, GeorgeXVIII

      Revenue:
      1) Raising all taxes back to Clinton era would reduce the deficit >$400 billion/yr.  I believe it is only around $80 billion/yr if it is only tax cuts for the rich.
      2) I honestly have no idea of the effect of this.  It may already be included in the totals I've seen for the overall tax cuts??
      3) Corporate taxes are at an all time low of 1% of GDP.  If this were raised to Clinton levels of 2%, $150 billion
      4) $41 billion oil and gas, $8 billion coal, $9 billion nuclear, $6 billion ethanol, $11 billion agribusiness
      5) I have no idea how to do the math here, but it is estimated $1 in infrastructure spending returns $1.75 if long term revenue

      Spending:
      1) This is tough to estimate, but the UK and Canada pay 1/2 what we do for healthcare.  I'll be conservative and reduce Medicare/Medicaid costs by 25% = ~$200 billion.  Of course it would probably take at least 5 yrs to implement the plan, but who knows?
      2) $105 billion in Afghanistan, $66 billion in Iraq
      3) This is a bit vague, but if we cut Pentagon spending 10%, $70 billion

      So, there is a quick $736 billion in deficit reduction PER YEAR minimum.  If you include eliminating all Bush tax cuts and not just those for the richest, it is over $1 trillion/yr.  Add in the couple of things I didn't include an estimate for, and we're well on our way!

      Kiss my ass, Paul Ryan...

      •  Effect of taxing Cap Gains as Ordinary income. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GeorgeXVIII, ybruti, bstotts, neroden

        Here is a ball park estimate:

        Value of US bond market = $35 Trillion.
        Value of US Stock Market = $15 Trillion.
        Total = $50 Trillion.

        Percent owned by the wealthiest 20% of Americans is 90%, so we have $45 Trillion in assets subject to our tax hike.

        Let's say that all capital gains, rents, dividends, coupon payments, etc. average a 5% yield over "the long term". That is $45 Trillion x .05 = $2.2 Trillion in income that is currently taxed at 15%. We are going to tax it at 35%, or 20% more.

        $2.2 Trillion x 20% = $440 billion in new revenue.

        This is just a back-of-the-napkin calculation, but more thought went into this than into the g-dammed Laffer Curve.

  •  The Congressional Progressive Caucus has proposed (6+ / 0-)

    a budget plan that will eliminate the deficit while maintaining progressive priorities.  This was the subject of a recommended dairy by Representative Raul Grijalva.

    This budget has had very little press coverage so far.

    "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt." Bertrand Russell

    by Thutmose V on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 04:53:38 PM PDT

    •  Thanks! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      neroden

      Wow, totally missed that since I was on a plane yesterday.  Awesome!  Not sure why they released it on a Friday, but hopefully it will generate more press next week.

    •  Representative Jan Schakowsky (0+ / 0-)

      is part of the Progressive Caucus budget committee.  She was also on the Simpson/Bowles committee and developed her Progressive budget which is now being considered by the Caucus with group changes.  This is exciting and I want to support it.  We need our own sound bites so we can work to counter the Tea Party and their amazing media coverage.

  •  Honestly? (0+ / 0-)

    As soon as someone sees this "it needs to raise taxes", you've lost the debate.

    •  Not true at all (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GeorgeXVIII, neroden

      First off, the point of this isn't to get it passed in its entirety any more than Paul Ryan's budget.  It is an admitted ideological statement.  It is a starting point for generating headlines and to present a position for negotiation.  The Republican's knew Ryan's proposal would never see the light of day in the Senate, but it has been at the top of the headlines for over a week.

      On top of that, polls show that the public would much rather raise taxes on the wealthy than cut Medicare.

  •  Maybe we should push the meme that taxation (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    litho, pollwatcher

    is a patriotic duty that symbolizes American freedom.

    I'm trying to think of ways to sell the merits of taxation to regular Americans.

    T'd, and R'd.

    Do not let your passion cloud your reason.

    by arpear on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 07:48:36 PM PDT

  •  Need to go ahead and shut down (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ybruti, pollwatcher

    With none of this "except essential needs stuff"  No Air traffic controllers (no flights), no INS or TSA agents or customs,  (Americans overseas will have stay there),  lock down federal prisons (give out some MRE's before closing the doors) close down federal power dams (This puts Pacific NW and much of West into blackout)  We must make it very tough on these teaparty pricks.  Obama must find ways to punish these folks individually and collectively.  He will never appease them enough.

  •  Ok, I would like to cut these costs: (0+ / 0-)

    Selective Service $23 Million
    Cannabis Eradication Programs $14 to $40 Bn
    Repeal the tax cut extension $700Bn (?)
    Drastically cut military contracts $ (?)
    End both oil and ethanol subsidies $(?)
    End all federal agriculture subsidies $ (?)
    Congressional pay cut by 25% & Inc their health care contributions by 8%
    End corporate tax loopholes
    Start getting revenue from both on and offshore oil drilling on and in US Territories.

    I know there is a ton more!

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