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The destructive austerity budget of Republican Rep. Paul Ryan will be presented sometime next month and get intense media attention. On Wednesday, Reps. Raúl Grijalva of Arizona and Keith Ellison of Minnesota introduced the 74-member Congressional Progressive Caucus's fourth alternative budget, the Better Off Budget. And unlike Ryan's effort, it's a safe bet that the far-sighted, people-favoring Better Off Budget will be ignored.

That's in part because, unlike the disastrous, plutocrat-stoking Ryan budgets of the past, the CPC's efforts have been treated as a joke from the get-go. And not just by the media. The caucus has been unable to put together a majority of "ayes" from House Democrats for its earlier budgets. Proof that good policy ideas don't automatically translate into political clout. This year, however, the CPC's objective is to exert more grassroots pressure to give the budget a better chance of getting noticed both in the media and in Congress.

Like the CPC's previous efforts—The People's Budget (2012), the #Budget for All (2013), and the Back to Work Budget (2014)—the Better Off Budget represents a stark contrast to the Republicans' safety-net shredding proposals and quite different from President Obama's budgets as well. Isaiah J. Poole at the Campaign for American's Future writes:

As a statement of values as well as policy, the Caucus’ proposal—called “The Better Off Budget”—is a loud and audacious rebuke to conservative austerity economics. As the previous caucus budgets have sought to do, it seeks to put forward bold policies that match the severity of the problems facing working-class Americans. It also sets up the debates we should be having about how to rebuild the economy so that it works for more than just a handful of people at the top. It spells out in blunt detail what it would take to make beleaguered Americans struggling in today’s economy “better off.”
The Better Off Budget, put together with the expert advice of the folks at the Economic Policy Institute, shows what a New New Deal approach looks like. It makes jobs the highest priority, its drafters boldly stating that it (and successor budgets) would put 8.8 million additional Americans to work by 2017. It would increase spending over the next decade by $2.5 trillion and simultaneously reduce annual deficits by slightly more than $4 trillion, more than the White House budget or what Ryan likely will propose. More revenue would be generated by ending the disparity between the tax rate on wages and that on dividends and capital gains, eliminating corporate loopholes in the tax structure, cutting the defense budget and imposing a carbon tax with adjustments for lower-income families.

More analysis below the fold.

Among the provisions:

• Repeal sequestration
• Renew the emergency unemployment compensation program
• Restore cuts to food stamps
• Allocate $820 billion for new and repaired infrastructure
• Institute a tax credit for individuals making less than $95,000 and couples making less than $190,000
• Impose a securities transaction tax
• Impose higher taxes for those earning more $250,000 as well as a tax on millionaires and billionaires that includes a marginal rate at the top of 49 percent.
• Create a public option for health care
• Tax polluters $25 per ton of carbon dioxide with an increase of 5.6 percent a year, and rebating 25 percent of all revenues as refundable credits to low-income families
• Repeal $118 billion in fossil fuel subsidies between now and 2024
• Reduce the Pentagon's budget

These aren't new ideas. Indeed, many of them have been expanded upon in detail elsewhere. But budgets are policy. Without money, ideas—no matter how good—are just something to discuss over beers. And having these all in one place provides a kind of platform.

Neither the Better Off Budget nor the White House's are going anywhere. Paul Ryan's is
the only on that will get an affirmative vote in the House and it will be DOA when it reaches the Senate.

Expect some critics to argue, therefore, that pushing progressive budgets or legislation is a waste of time. But that's backwards thinking.

One key way to move politics leftward is to describe what would be done on the policy front if the political clout to enact that policy existed. Thus does one gain the votes to build that clout. The Better Off Budget is brimful of proposals that would help reverse income inequality, repair some of the damage done by our acute and chronic economic problems and invest tax dollars in a job-creating infrastructure worthy of the 21st century. The budget does not, of course, address everything that needs to happen. Its vagueness on cutting Pentagon spending except for zeroing out the Afghanistan war is a serious drawback.

Like its predecessors, however, the CPC's budget points us in the right direction. Unlike what we've seen for too many years, it's not merely a defensive budget seeking to protect existing programs of value to progressives. It goes, gently, to be sure, on the offense. That's a badly needed turnaround. A required move that sets the stage for the next ones.

Robert Borosage at the Campaign for America's Future says it well:

The CPC budget is a bold statement that explodes the limits of the current debate. But it is only a first step. It moves towards but does not fulfill the Economic Bill of Rights President Roosevelt promised in World War II. It boldly raises taxes, but would collect only 21.5 percent of GDP in revenues by 2024 (up from a little more than 17 percent now). It makes essential investments, but essentially allows spending to expand only with the economy (from 22.7 percent in fiscal year 2014 to 22.9 percent in fiscal 2024). Even with state revenues and spending added in, America would remain far below the European level of social provision.

That is the final irony. The CPC budget will be embraced or damned for its call for dramatic reform. But it is basically common sense within a cautious framework. It argues we should invest more in vital areas—and waste less on special interests and unneeded programs. Ask the rich and the corporations to pay more in taxes so we can afford the programs we need.

One way to register your support is to become a “citizen sponsor” of the CPC budget by urging representatives to vote for it.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 12:08 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos Economics, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, Income Inequality Kos, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It won't go anywhere (11+ / 0-)

    but it really should be pushed, hard, especially where people think that it's the President's job to provide a budget.

    (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

    by PJEvans on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 12:17:39 PM PDT

    •  It doesn't matter if it doesn't go anywhere, just (25+ / 0-)

      the chance to root for something makes supporting it worthwhile.

      I am so tired of pushing back against the need to compromise and whittle away at everything we believe in as Democrats. It is so much more invigorating to fight for something and let them do some of the pushing back.

      And these ideas should be presented not just as possible, but as inevitable. A securities transaction tax. Why aren't we talking about this the way we discuss chained CPI, as if it were a question of when instead of whether?

      We should be pushing to take this proposed budget into the midterm elections. These are all sound, vote getting proposals. Improve infrastructure. Tax credits if you earn less than $95,000, public option health care, repeal oil subsidies for Exxon, protect the environment with a tax on polluters. These are issues we could win votes on.

      •  Great comment, Susan from 29 (16+ / 0-)

        As I read the Progressive budget's bullet-points, I thought:  "Wow -- when you add all these up, they cover every single budget/funding issue I've seen people moaning about at dKos for years.  And now, in one neat package, is the budget package we at dKos would have come up with, if we knew how to work among ourselves.'

        And yes, Susan, I agree --

        We should be pushing to take this proposed budget into the midterm elections. These are all sound, vote getting proposals. Improve infrastructure. Tax credits if you earn less than $95,000, public option health care, repeal oil subsidies for Exxon, protect the environment with a tax on polluters. These are issues we could win votes on.
        •  CroneWit, our enemies are divided. Now is not a (0+ / 0-)

          time to split the log (channeling my President Lincoln).  Not with division, North/South, Christian/Jew/Muslim/Atheist must stand together. Division is a harbinger of defeat.  We must remain united.  

          •  Pleas explain how you think I am 'splitting the (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JesseCW, flowerfarmer

            log'?  (A new phrase to me.)

            To me, the Progressive budget looks like a plan we Democrats can get unified behind.  Are you saying that you see the Progressive budget as divisive?  If so, how?

            And btw, have you read the Progressive budget yet?  It might be better if you read it before arguing about how it is divisive.

    •  plus, it is a litmus test. (6+ / 0-)

      Want grassroots support, feet on the ground, phone bankers,  donations, voters?  Co sponsor the  CPC BoB.  

      Otherwise?  You are not a Democrat and you ought to start worrying about a primary challenge from the left.

      I ignore DSCC and DCCC emails. No progressive should ever give them money.  Support Democrats who represent you.

      don't always believe what you think

      by claude on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 02:49:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It may take time for some to accept it's argument (3+ / 0-)

      That's why we need to push it now. Some people might be happy simply to see new ideas come out of Washington. Others will think it is flawed at first glance and too expensive, until we show them how much revenue is wasted by corrupt corporate spending. It should also be noted that by creating more jobs (and hopefully bringing up wages) we can create much more revenue from the 98% simply by increasing over all income. But some citizens will need to have it presented to them again and again in different ways before they grok it. It took me a while at first to believe government can work for the little guy (and gals!).

      It also addresses the Republican garbage that "Washington has never created a job" Here are over 3/4 of a trillion dollars worth of infrastructure jobs over 10 years. Not only can those jobs be paid for by corporations just STARTING to pay their fair share, but doing it now allows us to borrow at absurdly low interest rates while creating new jobs, some quite high paying jobs, which will also feed more revenue into that construction. Then, once it's finished, we enjoy decades of benefits and MORE revenue and new opportunities by using the infrastructure.

      •  Most of these "ideas" have been proposed (0+ / 0-)

        but the powers that unfortunately "be," have ignored them because they are fromthe Democratic Party representing a Democratic President named Obama.

        •  Yes, but at least he is listening to us now about (0+ / 0-)

          There have been some domestic changes he's making in policy, proposals and agenda. At least he's finally acting a bit aggressive. But mostly I'm talking about Congress and any movement leftward on their part. They're also talking about raising wages and adding jobs and fairness. Yes actions speak louder than words but at least they're making the argument for us. The ACA is supposed to be a leveler too. Frankly I wasn't expecting all this from the party 2 1/2 years ago. We've been talking about this stuff for years. And maybe starting in 2014.

          Our best hope for an upset if we can convince them to step up, take a chance, and offer a real alternative to Republicans. The powers will "be" what they want to be unless uncomfortably pressured to walk the talk. And they are talking it. It's up to us to convince them that they have now screwed themselves in 2016 if they don't deliver. These "ideas" may have been proposed before, but not at this level of daily prominence. How much longer before you feel the iron is hot enough to strike? This might be our best chance. If we can hold or upset in 2014 we have a real chance pushing the GOP out of power for a while in 2014.

          Then we can really push for a full progressive agenda. Give that a couple of cycles and if we're successful we may finally truly bring the world and ourselves into the 21st century.  

    •  Create a Budget Challenge contest (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alice kleeman

      Have a big media event at which the CPC challenges the Ryan budget, with the CBO being the judge. Categories could include the deficit, jobs, health insurance coverage, infrastructure improvements, median income and net worth, etc.

      A positive showing would be something CPC supporters could point to next November, regardless of how things go in Congress.

  •  Just FYI about Raul (16+ / 0-)

    Love ya MB, and with ya on this one, however, Rep. Raul is from Arizona, not NM. But would HAPPILY exchange him for Steve Pearce.

    Keep Your Party Outta My Pants.

    by Storey on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 12:18:01 PM PDT

  •  Let's not forget that the federal budget (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    has no legal effect. At best, it is a show that lets Congress put its best or worst foot forward, run things up the flag pole and see who salutes. That's why the country has managed quite well without a budget the last several years.
    At worst, the budget kerfuffle serves to distract the press and the electorate from the back rooms where appropriations are made for the purpose of keeping the electorate in line or in check.
    Appropriations are an indirect way for Congress to garner and harvest votes to achieve what's of real importance to them -- staying in office. In the early years of the nation, Congress doled out various material rights to garner electoral support. The nice thing about doling out dollars is that they leave no finger prints. However, for the dollars to be effective, they have to be in limited supply. Otherwise, the recipients won't feel gratified and privileged. And that's why what should be in infinite supply is artificially restricted and rationed. If dollars were as plentiful as inches, another unit of measure, they couldn't be used to constrain and coerce.

    Why is Congress into coercion? Well, that's what potent people do to prove their prowess. Nice guys are not perceived as powerful. That's why Obama is a whimp.

    by hannah on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 12:20:15 PM PDT

  •  The CPC needs to more exciting names (9+ / 0-)

    For their budgets to get attention.

    Something like the Proving Austerity Useless & Ludicrous, Reviving Your American Now, Increasing Sanity And Safety Using Coherent, Knowledgeable Action budget.

    I guarantee some Sunday morning show appearances if they would name it the PAULRYANISASUCKA Budget instead of the bland Better Off Budget.

  •  We need better media strategy and more iconic (13+ / 0-)

    spokespeople. As I read you post, I thought, "what a wonderful and progressive budget, which epitomizes our values." Yet, now just six inches down the page I can't remember the names of the champions or what to call it.

    Contrast this to Paul Ryan who has turned himself into a living symbol of his stingy, bugger the poor, "trickle up" approach. We don't even need to wait until next month to know the general outline of what he will propose.

    During the 2012 election I did several posts on the woman who leads "Nuns on the Bus" that captured peoples imagination with a clear message that Paul Ryan does not represent the Christian values of loving and caring for our poorer brothers and sisters. Bingo! Message sent and received.

    Was her name Sister Agatha? I'll have to check. Is there not a lesson for us here, that we need to elevate our champions into symbols that instantaneously convey big ideas.

    Many of us have been investing considerable time defining the "big ideas" Governor Christie conveys, such as abuse-of-power, exploitation of his office for political power, and the enrichment of the cronies in his political machine, because we've learned we can not wait until he election to do these things, with last minute ads where we will be outspent anyway.

    We need to start focusing on Rep Paul Ryan, and perhaps, even Mitt Romney because I'm beginning to suspect they may be our more probable 2016 nominees now.

    How do we elevate "Reps. Raúl Grijalva of Arizona and Keith Ellison and this Congressional Progressive Caucus's  fourth alternative budget, the Better Off Budget" to a more equivalent media-mindshare power as the "Paul Ryan Budget?" His causes us to gag, but his supporters hear it and think "finally, a way to get those parasite off the government dole."

    We need to rescue the idea that much of our government social expenditures are investments in a better future for all of us that should produce rich returns on investment measured in terms of a better educated and healthier workforce, cleaner water and air causing less disease (and expense,) road, communication, and other infrastructure that support business formation.


    "Seriously, Folks, WTH?" - ("What the Heck? "h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

    by HoundDog on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 12:39:22 PM PDT

    •  We need real media (15+ / 0-)

      I tire of assigning blame to Democrats based on "they suck at messaging" when the problem is primarily the fact that our media regularly lies or engages in deliberate sins of omission.

      We could have the best messages ever--and we have more than a few good ones. But you have to get them on the telly and on the radio for them to be heard! It's not a given that it'll happen.

      This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

      by lunachickie on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 01:15:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  ^^^ This ^^^ /nt (6+ / 0-)

        I don't love writing, but I love having written ~ Dorothy Parker // Visit my Handmade Gallery on Zibbet

        by jan4insight on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 01:47:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Make them surge on Twitter/FaceBook (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lunachickie, manyamile, flowerfarmer

        then the 'old media' of TV & radio will pick them up.

        •  Twitter (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I've largely given up on Facebook--at least in my own milieu. It's become the place for Happy Things.

          Twitter is something else entirely, and IMO, far better suited for "media surges". Nobody gets to be a windbag, it's "140 characters or bust", so you damn well better say what you need to, as pointedly as possible!

          This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

          by lunachickie on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 02:24:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  No, they won't. Except to mock, belittle, and (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CroneWit, flowerfarmer

          push back against them.

          90% of our media is controlled by six massive trusts primarily dedicated to preserving their own power.

          No Progressive messages allowed.  Period.  

          Even those who play-act Progressive positions must be willing to toss them aside the second the bosses need them to spend some of the credibility they've carefully been building.  

          If they're not willing to do that, they can join Donahue and Olbermann.

          Welcome to the Whole Foods of the blogosphere.

          by JesseCW on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 05:30:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I understand where you're coming from, JesseCW (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            And I agree, what you say is accurate.

            But I still think there's some reason in my approach.  Using Twittter (etc) is one way for ordinary people to get the message out, about the Progressive budget -- maybe one bullet-point at a time.  Media tracks Twitter surges/trends, so a surge/trend could very well result in reporting in 'The Media'.

            I grant you that that reporting might be on the 'surprising' or 'controversial' trend -- and would include negative reactions from The Usual Suspects.  But even those negative responses would allow for more discussion of the Progressive budget.

            And, imo, the Progressive budget is the perfect vehicle for doing as the President asked so long ago -- for The Left to push him for results.  

            Personally, I'd like to see this Progressive budget become well-enough discussed that it becomes familiar to the ordinary person, so that it can be contrasted not just with the GOP budget but with the White House budget as well.

            There's no reason, imo, to let our despairing disillusionment with 'the way things are' allow this newborn vision of 'the way things could be' to suffocate in its cradle because we won't give it air.

      •  Not an option in the short term. (4+ / 0-)

        The media sucks. This is simply a fact. Unless you have a concrete idea of how we can somehow get the media to take us seriously before the midterms, we need better messaging.

        Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
        Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
        Code Monkey like you!

        Formerly known as Jyrinx.

        by Code Monkey on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 02:26:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's not about them (5+ / 0-)

          "taking us seriously". They've been corrupted.

          You can have all the Good Messaging you want. And again--we've got plenty. But if you can't get it Out There, it does you little good.

          I've been advocating for a serious Occupy Media movement for the better part of a year now. It's time. And, to be perfectly frank, even if I wasn't? No one--not me, not you, not anyone--is required to have a "concrete plan" in order to proffer the very idea--or to continue to disagree with the idea that we simply "need better messaging" and if we just had it, all our electoral dreams would come true.

          That's become little more than a convenient excuse, IMO, and that's simply no longer acceptable.

          This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

          by lunachickie on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 02:34:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What I mean about a concrete plan (5+ / 0-)

            (and if I've come across as saying “if you can't think of a solution, I don't want to hear about the problem,” I apologize; I hate that attitude) is simply that I don't see how it's feasible to improve the media situation in time. Really, I guess I don't even need to hear a concrete plan, but I do remain unconvinced that we can move the fight to friendlier ground in time for the midterms.

            And actually, if you are working on the project, I'm sorry to have doubted you. As I've seen it (YMMV, and probably does), “mainstream media” has been used as a convenient excuse more often than “bad messaging.” The thing about bad messaging is it's something we as Democrats can try and do better; that's always easier than getting someone else to do better. To me, improving ourselves is the safer bet eight months out.

            Also, we've already seen that a liberal Democrat can get some pretty great press for her ideas: Elizabeth Warren has been superb on this front. I think we should find a counterpart for her in the House, either by electing one or by recognizing and lionizing one we've already elected.

            Which isn't to say improving the news media isn't an important project; it's absolutely vital. And if I'm wrong and it can be done rapidly, all the better.

            Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
            Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
            Code Monkey like you!

            Formerly known as Jyrinx.

            by Code Monkey on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 03:14:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  We need to Occupy the Democratic party first (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lunachickie, CroneWit

            Then, indeed, lets bring fairness, transparency and a breakup of the quasi-monopolistic corporate media conglomerate. We won't get that until we start being able to pass legislation to make it so.

            •  Good point n/t (0+ / 0-)

              This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

              by lunachickie on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 04:03:56 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

                •  Well, here's one consideration, though (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Noodles, alice kleeman, flowerfarmer

                  you're not going to get it just by legislation. The stomach has to be there for it, too, and you're sure as hell not going to get that, sitting around waiting for Just The Right Majority.

                  Hence my suggestion for Occupy Media. These two concepts really rather need to go hand in hand, in order to be truly effective. Because you will be hard-pressed to get that majority with the "Media" in its current shape. People won't vote sensibly if they're misinformed about candidates.

                  This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

                  by lunachickie on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 04:19:51 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yes. I'd like to see petitions aimed at media (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    alice kleeman

                    I'd love to see one from DKos to one or more of the Sunday morning shows on the very issue raised about talking about spending time talking about the Better Off Budget. This tells them that we, as consumers, expect a fair hearing. It shows that some will be interested in listening or may not if it is not brought about.

                    And letters from individuals to them and to the editor of local newspapers and advertisers as well on a range of issues can also make headway, if well organized. Unlike the original Occupy which was mostly organically organized, something like this needs to be an ongoing campaign when it comes to media.

                    And in special cases, Flush Rush is a perfect example of Occupy Media, where there is a clear abusively one sided broadcasting that people find offensive and unfair.

                    •  The Flush Rush campaign (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Noodles, flowerfarmer

                      is definitely a good example of an "Occupy" action, and now that we see it working to a certain extent, we know that envelope could be pushed a little, too.

                      This is not just about "petition drives" or "LTE" either, though that would also be helpful. What you need to upend the complete entrenchment of "MSM" at this point in time is not exactly something which could be formally organized--and that is precisely because of what came to pass for the "original" Occupy. Something like this must be taken one step further and it has to be done even more "organically", or it won't fly effectively. The media machine in this country has far too much at stake, they will smash any half-baked efforts to change what they're doing.

                      This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

                      by lunachickie on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 08:41:44 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I see "organic" more as an emergent property (0+ / 0-)

                        These happen in nature and in societies. I think technology and science and even some philosophy will do a lot of the heavy lifting and these properties will come from having new tools and new ways to use older ones.

                        To some extent new tools for success are going to upend things on their own without all that much help from us. But we can guide it and push it where it needs to go. Often liberals, who are more open in general to change and critical self evaluation, tend to adopt these tools earlier and use them sooner than conservatives. We need to try and roll with the changes better as it is inevitable anyway.

                        But we still need to break up the broadcasting oligarchy and do it in many ways, including organized pressure from some flank.

        •  And I know you said "short term" (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Code Monkey, CroneWit, Noodles, JesseCW

          I'm not talking about for this cycle. That ship sailed long ago.

          This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

          by lunachickie on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 02:35:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oops. Should've read both comments (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lunachickie, alice kleeman

            before replying :-)

            Well, we can't allow things to backslide too far, even if we concede that retaking the House is unrealistic. Also, acting as a shadow government by proposing and championing a budget is ultimately a long-term strategy—it's about defining what the Democratic Party stands for. That matters no matter how November shakes out.

            Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
            Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
            Code Monkey like you!

            Formerly known as Jyrinx.

            by Code Monkey on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 03:18:53 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You're right--but that's the easy part, really (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Code Monkey, alice kleeman
              defining what the Democratic Party stands for.
              A definition is a set of words. And we all know what it's supposed to stand for already, don't we? Seems to me we've got that part sussed. What needs to happen is that these people who call themselves Democrats need to start producing actions consistent with that definition. And not only are they not doing it, they're not being held accountable by Party leadership for not doing it.

              What kind of Party succeeds, not doing what they're supposed to be doing? Not ours! Guaranteed. People are fed up and I am one of them, and if we end up with a GOP majority, dammit, I am not taking the blame for that. I can't say it enough and I'm getting pretty damned tired of having to say it, because it's a fucking no-brainer.  Put up some Democrats who will follow through with actual Democratic actions. If that can't be done--well, don't expect to win. That's stupid. If this Party leadership isn't smart enough to support real Democrats, then they're not smart enough to win. And if they're stupid, that is not the voters' fault.  

              If you put up shit candidates, you get shit results. Why is this complicated as a concept?

              This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

              by lunachickie on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 04:15:50 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  We have the Internet. It will replace some media (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CroneWit, JesseCW, alice kleeman

        Over time, it may replace a whole lot of it. Within 10 years I expect a great deal of the media landscape to be transformed and less likely to be hijacked by anyone so long as we fight for and legislate net neutrality. Let's also build in an fiber optic information superhighway as part of the infrastructure and provide a strong alternative to corporate broadband.

        •  It's a conundrum (0+ / 0-)
          less likely to be hijacked by anyone so long as we fight for and legislate net neutrality.
          Sure! But how exactly do you expect to get net neutrality with the media mess we have right now? You have to educate voters. And for most people, like it or not, that means "Turn on the tv and watch the news".

          Right now, figuratively speaking, you've already got two hands and one of your arms tied behind your back and all you have as a tool is one of your elbows. What do you do?

          This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

          by lunachickie on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 04:24:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  New laws for one. The best bet? Build a superhwy. (0+ / 0-)

            A fiber optic one. Into our homes. Beyond broadband. Let the corporations play catch up, even though many will be contracted to lay it out. If it is designed as a public works, to be owned by the citizens, then Comcast can do what they want if they can drag people away from the Highway.

            I don't feel that the public is as completely constrained. The younger a person is the less TV they watch. Or at least it is far less influential than their phone or tablet. Every hour someone is interactively on line is often one hour they aren't watching (much) television. More people are spending more time online.

            And then, I am hearing our message even on the news. We need to talk it up while it's happening. Raising wages. Really? They are proposing it? Asking private companies to consider it? Sorry lunachickie, but hearing them actually talking about stuff like that and economical inequality, in public, is a little slice of heaven for me. It should be an open door for progressives.

    •  YOU can promote the ideas if you read the budget (16+ / 0-)

      HoundDog, have you looked at the budget yet, or read MB's sources?  Maybe you should do that before complaining that it needs a 'star power' face attached.

      Here's the link:

      Please read the first 2 pages -- they contain categorized bullet-points.  Even if you don't read the next section, which offers brief explanations of the bullets, or the pages of spreadsheets that follow, you'll understand why this budget is something to get excited about.

      Two pages of bullet points.  That's all I'm asking your to read.  Here are some selecitons:

      Creating Good Jobs – creates 8.8 million jobs by 2017.
      -- Long-term Unemployed – provides access to training and employment services to match employee potential with employer demand.
      -- Infrastructure – creates jobs in building and construction industries to repair and modernize our ailing roads, bridges and water infrastructure.
      -- State Aid – provides assistance to states to allow them to hire and rehire public employees such as police, firefighters and health care workers.
      -- Public Works and Education – a direct hire program that includes seven jobs corps to hire physicians, students, construction and community workers and an education program boost to hire more teachers and improve schools.

      Reversing Harmful Cuts – repeals the Budget Control Act and Sequester, restores Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, restores unemployment insurance, fully funds the Prevention and Public Health Fund, and ends the federal worker pay freeze.

      Equity for Women and People of Color – enhances federal programs targeted at creating equity and improving outcomes for women, people of color, and their families.


      -- Implements a new Hard Work Tax Credit for households earning less than $150,000.
      -- Returns to Clinton tax rates for households making over $250,000 and implements new brackets for those making over $1 million.
      -- Equalizes tax rates for investment income and income from a hard day’s work.

      -- Eliminates the ability of U.S. corporations to defer taxes on offshore profits.
      -- Enacts a Financial Transaction tax on various financial market transactions.
      -- Implements Chairman Dave Camp’s financial institution excise tax.

      -- Protects and strengthens Medicare and Medicaid without cutting benefits for seniors.
      -- Builds on Affordable Care Act savings and successes, including implementing a public option and expanding payment reforms.
      -- Allows states to transition to single-payer health care systems.

      -- Closes tax loopholes and ends subsidies provided to oil, gas and coal companies.
      -- Addresses the climate change crisis by enacting a price on carbon pollution while holding low-income families harmless.
      -- Invests in clean and renewable energy, which creates middle class jobs, boosts the economy, and cuts pollution.


      -- Implements comprehensive immigration reform, including a pathway to citizenship.

      -- Calls for transparency in national security budgets to bring accountability to bulk data collection programs


      -- Funds public financing of campaigns to curb special interest influence in politics.

      -- Endorses “Scrapping-the-Cap” and expanding Social Security benefits separately from the federal budget process.

      If you don't see your pet issues, go to the link and see what the Progressive budget has to offer you.

      As Robert Borosage writes:

      the CPC budget offers a vivid contrast both to the course plotted by the Republican House budgets put together by Rep. Paul Ryan and the cautious course followed by the White House.

      The 'cautious course followed by the White House'does, of course, have a charismatic front-man -- which is why Poole's article points out that ordinary citizens have a chance to become 'Citizen Co-Sponsors' of the Progressive budget by signing up here:

      (And sorry, HoundDog, for sounding snappish; I've gotten really tired of nay-sayers who bring in their discouraging words before an issue has been explored, and I felt (perhaps wrongly) you were doing that here.)

      •  You have an excellent comment CroneWit, I'm (10+ / 0-)

        not upset by it at all, and apologize if I discouraged you and anyone else, as I was actually trying to cheer myself up. I could see it is a wonderful budget that is immensely better than the Ryan budget.

        My woeful comments started in my own brain, from the time I read these great ideas in MB's posts, to when I got six inches below and was trying to write a useful comment I couldn't remember the names of the sponsors, or the budget. And, I'm a highly committed Democratic Party progressive activist who spends several hours of every day committed to advancing our causes.

        So I was wondering if this could be part of the explanation for why we keep losing elections we should win, and voters keep voting against their own best interests. If we keep focusing only on making our already superior policies even better is it going to help much?

        Something else must be going on?

        But, if the problem is I'm coming off as a naysayer and discouraging our troops and voters before we can even get our superior programs off the ground, this wouldn't be good, and I would be much embarrassed. I'm always open to suggestions for how I can improve my effective for our causes CroneWit.

        In this case, I took it as a given that these programs are vastly better than Ryans. Check out my last paragraphs where I describe them as investments in a better future for all of us.

        One lesson, is I have to improve the clarity of my writing. Thanks for the heads up. I'll come back and study this more carefully, after I put a picture of Nancy Pelosi in the post I just put up on the CIA scandal. (I'm on Minority Leader Pelosi's side on this one.)  

        "Seriously, Folks, WTH?" - ("What the Heck? "h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

        by HoundDog on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 01:46:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Hi CroneWit, it's me again. I'll do what I can to (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lady Libertine, CroneWit

        promote this budget, but on my best days, I sometimes have posts that might get 100 to 250 recs, and very rarely maybe 500.  This last two weeks, I've been averaging 30, sometimes less.

        And, pretty much the only people who read my posts are fellow hard core progressive Democrats who all believe as we do.

        My question was how does Paul Ryan manage to get audiences for his budget malarky of hundreds of millions pretty much anytime he wants to. And, when he does, a substantial number of those viewers remember the name "The Ryan Plan" and can link it to a voting pattern.

        Well, part of it is he's run for the Presidency. My original point was just, wistfully, I wish we had more media personalities that reporters would seek out, and audiences would recognized and listen to, and hopefully respect.

        For example, Hillary Clinton is well known,  DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz does a good job and probably has achieved a name recognition above 10% which is pretty good. Many here like Senators Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Harry Reid, former Governor Howard Dean, and recently I just saw former Governor Bill Richardson popping back up, making me think he may be thinking of a 2016 run if Clinton doesn't run.

        This all seems sort of haphazard to me. I was wondering if we ought not to have some kind of better system of cultivating, training, promoting, maintaining, etc. or media personalities.  

        Maybe, my sense that the GOP does more of this is perception bias, due to the amount of time I spend on opposition research.

        "Seriously, Folks, WTH?" - ("What the Heck? "h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

        by HoundDog on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 02:33:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  A Progressive budget -- with great ideas! (11+ / 0-)

    MB, I'm so glad to see this posted here.  I had read your sources earlier today, and I wondered why I hadn't seen anything here yet -- you must have been working on it already.  Thanks for covering this here!

    And btw, readers can sign up to be 'Citizen Co-Sponsors' here --

    in the link provided in Isaiah Poole's article, which you cite:

    The 'Citizen Co-Sponsor' link is in the next-to-last paragraph of Poole's article.

  •  Sad part is, this budget would improve the lives (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AJayne, Angie in WA State

    Of 80-85% of Americans yet it will be seen as DoA to 75%. It is the difficulty of being rational in an insane world. And I am what most call an  "economic conservative".

    •  Why would it be seen (6+ / 0-)

      as DOA to 75%?

      Let's make sure we all agree on exactly why that is--it's pretty important that we do, so we can come up with the best way to improve on the situation.

      This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

      by lunachickie on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 01:17:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It won't get passed this year. Or maybe next. But (0+ / 0-)

      ... these things take time. If we are more successful than expected in November, in part by us trying to make this part of a campaign promise, we might be able to enact it by 2016. And if we lose and it takes a couple more years, it is still possible to get it done over a couple of election cycles. Not all that long of a time in politician years.

      I also find that we won 2012 on the issue of fairness and the Democrats, to their credit, are driving that wedge hard against the splintering GOP where maybe 10% of their politicians might agree with some of it (not that they'd say that out loud.) With any luck the Democratic party overall will even buy into the ideology some day and campaign on more policy that moves leftward. People agree that we need higher wages, more jobs, they're friendlier to gay marriage and marijuana legalization. They see a 1% earning unbelievable amounts of money and opportunity and the average American more and more are wanting a liberal slice of the pie for themselves. They are starting to envision change.

  •  Can't square (0+ / 0-)

    4 Billion in deficit reduction with creating 8.8 million in new jobs, unless they are making some growth production.

    Must be missing something - but I don't get it.

    •  Let's look at the Progressive budget's claim (9+ / 0-)

      Here it is:

      The Better Off Budget not only creates jobs, it reduces the deficit by $4.08 trillion over the next 10 years.

      pg 1,

      You can read the text portions of the budget for explanations of how this will be done, and/or you can wait (like I will) for the Progressive budget to be reviewed by responsible, realistic economists.  But here's what Robert Borosage has to say, in part, about how this will be done:
      Its core strategy is to invest in areas vital to our future, putting people to work on jobs that need to be done. The CPC would meet the challenge of repairing our decrepit infrastructure, and expand investments in R&D and renewable energy. It offers aid to states and localities to rehire police, fire fighters and rebuild public services. It creates jobs corps that would employ the young. It provides a major boost to educating our children, with expanded appropriations for teachers, preschool and rebuilding schools. And instead of shredding the safety net, as Republican budgets demand, it would strengthen it, protecting veterans, expanding child nutrition and food stamp programs, providing seniors with a responsible cost of living adjustment that expands their benefits to meet their costs rather than decreases them.

      Then, rather than duck how it would pay for its reforms, as the Ryan budgets do, the CPC details progressive tax reforms and spending cuts to pay for the reforms while paying down the national debt.

      The tax reforms are designed to ensure that the rich and corporations pay their fair share of taxes. The CPC would hike taxes on millionaires. It would close oversea tax dodges, thus requiring multinationals to pay taxes at the same rate as domestic corporations. Investors would pay the same tax rates on their investment income as workers on their wages.  It would end subsidies to Big Oil, the giveaways to Big Pharma, and limit subsidies to agribusiness. The ten biggest financial institutions would pay a special tax, designed to limit their competitive edge over smaller banks, while repaying taxpayers for the perils they impose on us, a proposal lifted from Republican Rep. Dave Camp’s tax reform bill.

      I hope you'll read the Progressive budget itself for a better understanding of how it is structured to meet its goals.
      •  I think EPI comprises realistic... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CroneWit, onionjim, bryduck, JesseCW

        ...responsible economists and they vetted the Better Off Budget.

        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 02:47:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks, MB. Yes, EPI economists vetted (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Meteor Blades

          the Progressive budget.

          I was thinking about people like Krugman and others that explain economics to people who read/listen to them -- and who, I guess will base some of their statements on the EPI.

        •  It is hard to reconcile... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Removing $4 billion from the private sector and creating 8.8 million jobs requires a confluence of improbable assumptions.  Because what is really being said is that by juggling government spending priorities to more stimulative items and away from less stimulative items will massively counteract the austerity of removing $4 trillion from the private sector over the next 10 years.

          That seems improbable.

          I expect that it is mentioned because it follows the common wisdom and any budget that ignores deficits would be taken even less seriously.  Even though that would be much more effective at putting people to work.

          The biggest change I would make is to take the $4 trillion in deficit reduction and move it to reducing payroll taxes by the same amount.  Since, we have a SS and Medicare "trust funds" the $4 trillion would be allocated to replacing the reduced payroll taxes.

          More than likely this will not reduce the absolute deficit, but probably would result in a large reduction in the debt/GDP ratio due to GDP growth outstripping the debt increase. Automatic stabilizers might also kick in and cause some deficit reduction due to less need for social safety net, but those are cyclical anyways and will tend to average out over the longer term.

          One the biggest problems is that the GOP (and some Democrats) keep forcing reductions in automatic stabilizers which will just cause higher deficits when the next recession hits. Which I expect to be well before employment reaches pre-Great Recession levels given the current political situation.

          •  What I think you're missing out on is that (0+ / 0-)

            Defense spending is no longer stimulative.  

            Not exactly a yay tax cuts point, but across the board tax cuts do more to stimulate the economy than buying more idiotic war toys.

            So, yes, you can slash spending and create jobs, by spending in ways that actually get money into the hands of poor and working people.

            Welcome to the Whole Foods of the blogosphere.

            by JesseCW on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 05:35:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, but... (0+ / 0-)

              Again, it is rearranging spending.  You have to assume that removing $4 trillion from the private sector will reduce jobs to some extent.  Then, you have to assume that rearranging spending will not only make up for the jobs lost via austerity, but it will also create an additional 8.8 million jobs.  While it can't be ruled out as a possibility it is highly improbable.

              Now, I don't know if the 8.8 million is job years or actual permanent job addition.  I am going to go with permanent job additions.  Let's say the $4 trillion removal from the private sector only affects jobs at $1 million/job.  That means before rearranging spending we start at -1 million jobs. Then, let's be very generous and assume spending rearrangment is from $1 million/job spending to $500,000/job spending.  So, we need about 10 million additional obs created via rearranging spending.  Than means $10 trillion needs to be moved from $1 million/job spending to $500,000/job.  So, that $10 trillion goes from supporting 10 million jobs to supporting 20 million jobs.  Now, that is $10 trillion over 10 year.  Which means rearranging $1 trillion per year.

              The federal budget is $2 trillion.  So, a cursory glance would say that there is no way that half the federal budget is available to rearrange into massively more job efficient spending. But, we also need to consider that taxes can be raised and then spent in a more job efficient way.  So, somewhere between rearranging half the $2 trillion budget and raising $1 trillion a year in taxes in a way that does less harm to jobs than spending it on something else, we can get double the job efficiency of the original dollars.

              Yes, I made up numbers, but another guess would be that reality is that somewhere between $500 billion and $1.5 trillion per year in government spending and taxing would have to be rearranged in order to create 8.8 million jobs on top of whatever is done to reduce the deficit by $4 trillion (another $400 billion/year in taxing and spending changes).

              I think we should forget about deficit reduction and just create the job.

              There are very good reasons for doing the tax changes in the Progressive Budget, but those reasons have little to do with reducing the deficit or creating jobs.

          •  Thank you (0+ / 0-)

            Unless you attach very high ROI to the short term investments, you cannot square deficit reduction with increased job growth

            Period.  The math doesn't work..

            Maybe the deficit projection is just a through away.

  •  Glad to see it revives the CCC, but i have 2 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    1 How much is spent on the CCC over 10 years?
    2 Is the revived CCC a permanent agency this time around?

  •  thanks MB (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    YucatanMan, LinSea

    I guess. lol. This is just so depressing. Great ideas, policies, plans.... going nowhere.

    If I can't dance I don't want to be part of your revolution. ~ Emma Goldman

    by Lady Libertine on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 01:29:08 PM PDT

    •  Well, 1) Sign the petition; 2) Read the budget (7+ / 0-)

      (links are above) and write individual Emails to each of your US Senators and Representative, explaining why you think this budget is a much better deal for America.

      And you could write a letter to the editor too.  You can share this diary on FaceMachine (FB) and talk to your friends about it. If you wanted to go further, you could write to Congressional leadership on both sides of the aisle.

      I'm going to do all of those, even though I've got two Tea-haddists for US Senators and a Representative who I know would support this budget.

      They still need to hear from us. I agree that it looks like it is going nowhere, but I'm not going to stop trying as long as I can.

      "There is no try, there is only do."  I can try to make them do it.  :-)

      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

      by YucatanMan on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 01:57:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  me too (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        YucatanMan, JesseCW

        Sheila Jackson Lee is my Rep. and she's on the CPC for whatevers thats worth.

        I know you're right but its really hard to get motivated to do what you suggest. And I dont "do" petitions anymore at all. Meh.

        If I can't dance I don't want to be part of your revolution. ~ Emma Goldman

        by Lady Libertine on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 02:02:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I tried to get Bowers to discuss the effectiveness (5+ / 0-)

          of petitions on one of the "Ask DailyKOS Anything" diaries, but got back mish-mush (in my opinion) as an answer. There's no real quantification of how effective they are that I can find.

          Still, in an MB diary, I'll "sign" the petition. The rest get the same Meh from me.  

          I get tired of the spam that petitions bring.  They should have a selection which says, "Definitely never contact me further" for signings. That would work for me.  But the "We'll be flooding your Inbox forever" message just repels me everytime.

          "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

          by YucatanMan on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 02:15:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm going to make a video (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            YucatanMan, Lady Libertine

            like the income & wealth inequality video. I am going to keep it to 5 minutes. Having unemployed graphic designer friends had to count for something. I can trade then professional head shots in return. If anyone else wants to help they can pm me.

            “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” George Orwell

            by Tool on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 02:49:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's the kind of thing we need a lot more (0+ / 0-)

              of, Tool. I appreciate that kind of work. Unfortunately, I have no talent in creating or editing video.

              Interesting that you're a photographer, I take it?

              "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

              by YucatanMan on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 03:01:23 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Actually for the last seven years I've worked with (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                YucatanMan, flowerfarmer

                behaviorally challenged and autistic children. Special needs education has been my calling in life and I'm in school for early childhood education to finish my degree which I started in my early 20s but left due to a failed marriage and student debt. Because of another Kossack I've had the opportunity to return to school and so now I'm doing homecare/Com hab work with two children. Eventually I'm going to get my BCBA and develop behavioral intervention plans for an ABA program or (Applied behavioral analysis)

                However the same Kossack that helped me get back into school helped me get a mid level dslr to be able to take photos after falling in love with my photo diaries in which I used a rather primitive camera. Since then I've still covered protests but I've used the camera to develop my photography and monetize the skill for extra cash on the side. I'm really lucky cause my GF (besides being a HS teacher) can create clothing on a level of Project Runway and we do photo shoots together.  

                David Harris Gershon actually had me take some photos at his book signing and they used my photo in the Washington Post:


                This is my photography page on FB:


                I'm all over the place but I learned a lot of media skills during OWS and intend to use them. Gonna make this video this weekend.

                “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” George Orwell

                by Tool on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 07:32:30 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Thank you for that info! How great that another (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Tool, flowerfarmer

                  Kossack reached out and got you a couple of breaks.

                  People don't get places due to their own merits, despite the mythology of this country. Particularly today.

                  Many people of great merit don't get to share their talents with the rest of us, or more importantly, with those who could benefit most from them. In your case, the challenged children.

                  It's wonderful that you have a chance. Many more need that chance, and that's one of the main reasons I'll try to stay engaged until I die: fighting to change the system so that opportunity is more widely available.  

                  It would be much easier to slip away to a quiet life, but where's the 'life' in that? ;-)

                  "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

                  by YucatanMan on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 07:43:56 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  The Progressive budget went public yesterday, (5+ / 0-)

      Lady Libertine. Just yesterday.  

      So why sigh and moan about how 'depressing' it is that it's 'going nowhere'?  Have you even read the Borosage & Poole articles?  The text portsion of the budget?

      The Borosage & Poole articles were just published on Wed, Mar 13; Poole published Tue Mar 12 (the day the budget was released) here --

      This diary by MB was just published today, Thurs Mar 13 -- only one day after the budget was released.  There is no reason for this Progressive budget to 'go nowhere', other than the pre-emptive defeatist reactions I see in this still-short thread.

      I don't think this Progressive budget is 'depressing'; I think it is exciting -- it gives us the chance to do something by supporting and promoting it online and off.

      This Progressive budget is revolutionary.  And if you want to be part of this revolution, LL, you can pull yourself off that fainting-couch and become a 'Citizen Co-Sponsor' here --

      (Again, sorry for sounding testy; LL; Please see my comment above to HoundDog about 'nay-sayers' wearing me out to better understand where I'm coming from.)

  •  I fear it will fall on deaf ears my Representative (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LinSea, CroneWit, Meteor Blades, leema

    being (R) Jaime Herrera-Beutler, but for you Tim, I'll make that call.

    We have seen the political pendulum is indeed drifting leftward, after decades of conservatism, and we all need to contribute to that 'drifting' by personal actions, when and where possible. If only to ensure this swing Left is long and deep enough to support a more equality-based version of America for our posterity.

    "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"

    by Angie in WA State on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 01:57:40 PM PDT

  •  Thanks! I keep getting email petitions to support (4+ / 0-)

    this budget that don't say what it is.  You've solved the problem.

  •  Fact: $92 billion in corporate giveaways in (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Fact:  $124 billion in US money invested offshore in 2013

    Fact:  $52billion in social programs in 2013......

    $216 billion vs.  $52 billion is 4TIMES AS MUCH..!!!!

    Who are the REAL moochers in this economy..?!?!?!?!

  •  thank you for getting the word out on this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight, CroneWit

    i think this is worth  it. yep , all of the negative self talk begins immediately, (the CPC stuff never gets anywhere, the media sucks, we need more better spokespeople, etc etc) but  damn we liberal dogs need a positive bone to chew. it just isn't good enough to glory in GOP fuck'dupsmanship day in and day out.

  •  To state the obvious (0+ / 0-)

    We need the House, but the House is long out of reach, thanks to the new 'Oh, I'm So Important and Obama is an Evil Big Brother Trying to Take My Rights Away' Democratic Party. The Senate, too.  Imagine all the damage the GOP can do controlling the Hill.

    When Pelosi ran the House, legislation was pouring out left and right.  Over 300 bills died when the Democrats decided to hand the House back over to the GOP.  And this is what we get.

    The media won't pay attention to any progressive legislation in the House because its all dead on arrival.  Simple majorities rule.  Boehner writes new rules to silence the opposition.  Why would they care?  The GOP plan will pass and that's what they'll talk about.

    The cold, stark reality of reality.

    'Slower Traffic - Keep Right!'

    by luvbrothel on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 02:47:05 PM PDT

  •  Republicans are always (0+ / 0-)

    sponsoring bills that make noise and go nowhere.  Usually these bills are so far right they are about to fall off the map. The purpose of the noise is to make their voters feel good, and to push the debate to the right.  I mean, who cares if it never even makes it out of committee?  If its outlandish enough it will get attention.

    Radicals are strange people, but they are important.  For example, Malcolm X was very radical, very outspoken, and scary to a lot of white people.  Compared to Malcolm, Martin Luther King was a moderate.   (I'm not putting down Malcolm, I think he was a pretty amazing man.)  Conventional wisdom had it that Malcolm was hurting the cause by being too radical.  I believe Malcolm helped the cause by making King look moderate.

    This is a good budget, but it is not a radical one.  I would like to see a lot of totally off the wall, totally dirty-hippie commune liberal freaky bills and budgets making noise and causing a ruckus.  Looney left radicalism would make Obama look like the extremely moderate dem that he is.

    "YOPP!" --Horton Hears a Who

    by Reepicheep on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 02:52:01 PM PDT

  •  A ray of sunlight peeks through the fog (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CroneWit, jan4insight, flowerfarmer

    This is the most cogent set of policy goals I have seen in a long time.  It does me good to see this.

    "If Wall Street paid a tax on every “game” they run, we would get enough revenue to run the government on." ~ Will Rogers

    by Lefty Coaster on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 03:05:38 PM PDT

  •  Did I miss the Progress PAC? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Did I miss the speeches with Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Hilary Clinton, Raul Grijalva, Joe Biden, Al Franken?  

    I must have!

    I know that our fair and balanced media would never fail to cover such a gathering of progressive voices, speaking out about all of the issues of the day!

    Voters should select people to represent them in their government. People in government should not select people who may vote!

    by NM Ray on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 03:10:10 PM PDT

  •  Here is a better budget (0+ / 0-)

    Every Democrat should co-sponsor it.

  •  Remember "The People's Budget"? (5+ / 0-)

    It didn't get Any media that I recall--or damned little.
    I agree: We need to raise Holy Hell about this one-this time...

  •  We need to make this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    stick. Raise holy hell and then some. We can't take any more of these neo liberal corporate fellatio budgets. We are literally dying here. Its time for a new way.

    A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

    by onionjim on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 03:25:12 PM PDT

  •  Ending austerity (6+ / 0-)

    The Better Off Budget repeals not only sequestration but also the Budget Control Act itself, and this is of key importance. The BCA set spending caps for all departments. It's the reason why we have record lows of discretionary spending as a percentage of GDP. As long as the BCA is in place, we are living under austerity. And I'm happy that the CPC is making that clear. Many people described Obama's budget as a move away from austerity. Well, not really--it wasn't digging the knife in deeper and faster but it wasn't taking it out. The CPC budget is trying to take the knife out, add a bandage, and set the body to good health.

  •  don't know how to put this (0+ / 0-)

    I don't know how to put this in a way that will be heard: I looked up the prior three years' budgets in the Arizona Daily Star and the Tucson Citizen, in Rep. Grijalva's district, since he's the chair of the progressives committee and I couldn't find any reference. They popped up stories about Gov. Brewer and budgets but not these budgets.

    I did that search because at the beginning of the article it mentions that we'll never see these budgets on the Sunday News Shows so I wondered ... were those budgets covered in members' local papers?

    I find it hard to believe that Rep. Grijalva hasn't presented these budgets to his local editorial boards but I can't find a reference (from a quick check).

  •  OT- Is anyone else having trouble with the hotlist (0+ / 0-)

    button, or is it just me?

    Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. ~The Druid.
    ~Ideals aren't goals, they're navigation aids.~

    by FarWestGirl on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 03:43:17 PM PDT

  •  The irony of this budget (0+ / 0-)

    is that it increases spending while cutting the long term deficit at the same time - thus slaying modern conservative ideology on budgeting almost completely.

    ...all by doing little more than asking !gasp! those that are better off pay a little more and cutting back on the Pentagons toys.

    I'd bet if a budget like this was widely polled without mentioning it's "progressive" and largely presented as simply an non-partisan solution, it would be massively popular with those who were polled on it.

    /sigh.  The idiocy and naivety of the American electorate knows no bounds.

    "There was no such thing as a "wealthy" hunter-gatherer. It is the creation of human society that has allowed the wealthy to become wealthy. As such, they have an obligation to pay a bit more to sustain that society than the not-so-wealthy." - Me

    by Darth Stateworker on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 04:26:21 PM PDT

    •  The Pentagon budget is obscene (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Darth Stateworker

      It is a big, wet sloppy kiss to the defense industry. Just as the farm bill is largely a big, wet sloppy kiss to agribusiness. There is plenty of waste in the government's budget, it is just not where the GOP think it is (i.e., in programs like food stamps that are relatively cheap and actually help working people).

      •  Abso-fuckin-lutely! n/t (0+ / 0-)

        "There was no such thing as a "wealthy" hunter-gatherer. It is the creation of human society that has allowed the wealthy to become wealthy. As such, they have an obligation to pay a bit more to sustain that society than the not-so-wealthy." - Me

        by Darth Stateworker on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 07:43:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I think you're right about that. The problem... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Darth Stateworker that budgets, even straightforward ones like this, are wonky and lots of people, even political junkies, aren't that into budget wonkery. So it's hard to spread the word.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 06:49:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The frustration of progressives is the (0+ / 0-)

    reality that the Right for the last 5 years has been successful in obstructing, demeaning, anything Obama, including their misinformation policies to the public regarding everything from Obamacare to how to quick start the economy.

    The truth has always been what President Obama proposed on day one, jobs, jobs, jobs.  Our lawmakers on the right have knowingly made many lives of the poor more miserable and that is unconscionable.  Republican state legislatures and governors denying Medicaid, cutting food stamps, yet, here we have Ryan who doesn't think the poor have been pushed back far enough, and they haven't risen high enough.

    The infrastructure proposals not only will bring jobs, jobs, jobs, in all fields, not just in construction, but will save this country billions in future expenses.  Do we wait for another bridge to collapse?  Another levee to break, water reservoirs to leak, and more schools to crumble?  Do we think that roads and transportation are just for personal use?  Do we not understand we need commerce to flow freely and safely on roads, ports, and airports.

    The American infrastructure is chipping away.  There are jobs for the skilled, those with college degrees, and the laborer.   With more work there will more taxes collected, communities will thrive, you get the picture.

    We have wasted 5 years on a group of GOPers who have had their eye on the next election, and the next, and this has skewed their every vote; make things look so bad people will want to vote GOP.  It's that simple.  They insist on "proving," government is bad, is too big, and it will only improve with a labor population with the elite on top.

  •  Capital vs operating budgets plus 2 more thoughts (0+ / 0-)

    Note that a good part of the spending is to create, extend or repair infrastructure, or to invest in the future. These expenditures do tend to pay off, at least in the medium term.

    I do miss one expenditure item--although I didn't read closely, and one assurance or expenditure. First, especially given the good news on mass transit, I didn't see anything explicit there.

    Second, while the budget is trying to cut corporate subsidies and eliminate loopholes, I desperately hope it is not eliminating the subsidy for pure research. On the other hand, we could clearly stand to have that term narrowed to the kind AT&T, IBM, Xerox Parc and the like funded in before the short-term bottom line mentality took over on Wall Street. I don't think we should be funding most packaging research or barely disguised product development or patent extension.

    •  These CPC budgets improve each time... (0+ / 0-) I'd recommend an email to the appropriate staff person on the transit. I am pretty sure that it's mostly oil company subsidies they are going after.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 06:48:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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