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Democrats, after a year’s hiatus, finally come up with a budget

Funny what actually producing something – a budget plan to bring government deficits and eventually debt under control — will see the other side produce.  After a year in which the Democratic Congress was unable to produce a budget, suddenly the Progressive Caucus in Congress has an answer to the Ryan budget proposal produced by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI).

And, as you might imagine, it is, definitely snort worthy.  However, if you remember what group I said had produced it, it shouldn’t surprise you. Phillip Klein brings you the “good news”:

Next week, the group of progressives plans to introduce its alternative to Ryan’s proposal, called "The People’s Budget." Based on an advanced peek provided by a senior Democratic aide, it promises to return the nation to surpluses by the end of the decade and reduce the debt, only with a much different approach from Ryan’s.

To extend the long-term solvency of Social Security, it would propose dramatically increasing payroll taxes on both the employer and employee side, and funneling the money into even more generous benefits.

Payroll taxes are economically destructive, because they make it more expensive for employers to hire new workers, meaning lower real wages and higher unemployment.

Yet the tax increases wouldn’t end there. The People’s Budget would rescind last year’s tax deal to raise rates on higher income levels, boost taxes on capital gains and dividends, increase the estate tax, institute three "millionaire tax rates," with the highest reaching 47 percent, tax corporate foreign income, impose a "financial crisis responsibility fee," and institute a "financial speculation tax."

Overall, taxes would rise to 22.3 percent of the economy, compared with 18.3 percent under the Ryan proposal.

The plan would also build on Obama’s most notable initiatives. It includes an additional $1.45 trillion in economic stimulus spending. On health care, the plan would add a government-run plan, or "public option," to Obamacare and have the government negotiate drug prices.

Yet while other parts of government would grow, the defense budget would be gutted. The proposal would "reduce baseline defense spending by reducing strategic capabilities, conventional forces, procurement, and R&D programs."

File this under “they just don’t get it”, for starters.  And, if you didn’t get a horse laugh out of the “People’s Budget” (VolksBudget?) then your sense of black humor is a bit lacking.  These fools, and I haven’t a better word for them, would absolutely ruin the country if given an opportunity.  They’re ignorant of economic, ignorant of reality and just flat dangerous.  If nothing else, the GOP ought to make this available far and wide – this is what these freaks will do if they get control of Congress again.  If you think the debt and deficit are bad now, let this crew pass their “People’s Budget” and we’ll all wave goodbye to life as we know it.

However instead of waiving this off, people need to study these two contrasting approaches to government advance by Paul Ryan and the Progressive Caucus.

Oh, and Megan McArdle, doing some back of the napkin figuring, isn’t buying the “22.3%” of the economy nonsense:

A 47% federal tax rate on top incomes, plus increases on estates, capital gains, and dividends, and all you get is . . . 22.3% of GDP?  A bare 1.3% above the collections envisioned by Simpson-Bowles?

And she asks for a little honesty:

No, if you want to get the budget under control without meaningfully cutting into entitlements, you’re going to need to hike taxes substantially on the middle class.  I’m waiting for the first politician to say this out loud.

Well, it won’t be the Progressive Caucus, you can count on that.  Instead, they’re all for making entitlements even more generous.  National defense – we don’t need no stinkin’ tanks.

Meanwhile the left has been savaging Ryan’s proposal (and so far the “People’s Budget” is the best they can throw back).  But serious people, like Charles Blahaus of e21 find it pretty refreshing (read the whole thing).  And he makes a point or two I’ve been making recently:

Yesterday’s release of the draft Ryan budget offers a vision for repairing the federal budget. Thus far, this vision for fiscal repair remains the only serious legislative alternative to fiscal catastrophe. President Obama’s submitted budget, by contrast, contains no significant effort to repair the federal fiscal outlook. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has shown that it would leave federal finances on a clearly unsustainable trajectory. Health care reform, long touted by some as being the real key to fiscal reform, turned out to mean expanding federally-subsidized coverage rather than fiscal correction. Last year the Congressional Democratic leadership declined even to pass a budget at all. If there is a responsible left-of-center alternative to the Ryan proposal, we have yet to learn what it is.

Well sir, it won’t be the People’s Budget for the People’s Republic of Fantasy Land, I’m sure of that.

~McQ

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19 Responses to Democrats, after a year’s hiatus, finally come up with a budget

  • “Who are these people?” I wondered when I read the post and cites.  Is this some small, “fringe” group in the Congress, some tiny moonbat club of sixties socialist burnouts?

    No, it is not.

    I took a deep breath and went to their website.  While there is only one senator (Bernie Sanders) in the group, it otherwise includes many well-known democrats, including Bawney Fwank, Sheila “Mother F*cker” Jackson-Lee, Nadler, Waxman, Conyers, Waters, and (naturally) Kookcinich.  In short, it is the liberal wing of the democrat caucus.  These are the a**holes who were running the Congress until the last election.  And the budget they’ve proposed (from embarrassment, I guess) is nothing more than a doubling down of what they did when they had solid majorities and could get away with it.

    Somehow, I have the idea that MiniTru will not exactly go out of its way to trumpet this budget proposal or spend too much time identifying the party to which the “progressives” belong.  Like The Dear Golfer laughing at a voter who complained about high gas prices and telling him that “he needs to trade in his car”, MiniTru will cover for these socialist a**holes.  Not, of course, because they disagree with them, but rather because they know that the American people will be outraged at a “budget” that is so unrealistic and is so transparently “tax and spend”.

  • Increase overall taxes by 18% in a recession. Engage in more failed stimulus. More regressive payroll taxes. Yeah, Republicans are stupid if they don’t run on this.

    • I saw last night that some progressives we concerned that making 40+% marginal rates would have “rich” folks channeling their “excess cash” into real estate and then pumping up their deductions.  Their solution was to kill deductions as well.

    • With inflation already kicking at our heals, making “rich” people poorer isn’t going to make anybody rich either, so hold on while that 70’s scourge, stag-flation, returns.   With so much of our manufacturing base now out of the country (compared to 1980), I expect it will take at least twice as long to undo the damage of a repeat onset of stag-flation.
      Pres**ent Obama has been casting about for past Presidential metaphors for two plus years now.  This will tie him at the hip with Jimmy Carter, possibly the worst President in a century .. maybe more.

      • Nothing like getting our “worst president for this century” done early eh?

  • “When will they ever learn…when will they learn?”  As Peter’s Paul was Merry would have it…

  • “The People’s Budget.”

    LOL!!!!  What, was this drafted by Senator The Rock  (R-Smackdown)?

    (Sorry, I just got around to watching Wrestlemania yesterday)

  • {sigh} As a solid left-libertarian (don’t start…) I support the progressive caucus in this. Our society simply can’t survive with such a gap between rich and poor. We need to funnel tons and tons of money to poor people and people living on the edge of poverty.

    Why, even social science professors are feeling the pinch as universities cut back. For example, I don’t know where they’re buying the coffee for the faculty lounge these days, but it’s awful.

    These are not spending proposals, they’re investments in the future. Yes, we must invest in young minds, and make sure they understand the inevitable march to glorious leftist utopia, and train them for jobs in diversity management and other key fields. And that’s not just post-modern, narrative-enhancing definition of terms. Investments, that’s what they are. Not spending.

    We must emulate Europe, which has objectively shown that progressivism works. Objectively, I tell you. Not opinion, pure fact. I decree it.

    If you disagree, you’re either ignorant or showing blind partisanship. Which I never show, of course, because I am a purely objective professor with an advanced degree, degree, degree, degree, degree, degree, degree [*** AUTOMATIC RESET TO FIX INFINITE LOOP BUG ON ACADEMIC DEGREES ***] that gives me godlike powers to determine a totally valid multiple truth, in a purely objective fashion.

    We progressives stand on our principles, which you thick, partisan righties just don’t do. You think we should coddle dictators, for example, and I don’t. Because of my principles. No, stop right there, DO NOT BRING UP how much I opposed taking on the dictator Saddam Hussein. That was TOTALLY DIFFERENT. Because it was an imperialist Republican president doing it for oil, and making the biggest foreign policy mistake in history. Obama has objectively improved everything in the world, from foreign policy to his wonderful Obamacare, which I supported even though I think that all should be handled by the states. And there’s no contradiction in any of this. I decree it. And my original prediction in Obama’s first year that he would cut spending doesn’t count. I decree that too.

    • “And my original prediction in Obama’s first year that he would cut spending doesn’t count.”
       
      Does your prediction that he’d cut spending in his second year count?

    • What about the MEEEEsiah’s promise that he would cut spending in HALF by the end of his FIRST (HA!!!) term….???

  • What’s at stake long term (i.e. 6 years) …

    U.S. Fiscal Meltdown in Spitting Distance

    On March 18, when the CBO released a new forecast that incorporated the president’s budget, the critical insolvency threshold — a 90 percent ratio of federal debt held by the public to gross domestic product, had moved up to 2017.

  • “Yet while other parts of government would grow, the defense budget would be gutted. The proposal would “reduce baseline defense spending by reducing strategic capabilities, conventional forces, procurement, and R&D programs.”
     
    Yeah ok how typical of liberal scum…gut the military in today’s world and pretend they live in fantasy land. This would have dangerous consequences for America. Have they seriously forgot about 9/11? WWII before America got involved they buried their heads in the sand? If they get their way it would be the end of America having the largest and best equipped military in the world spelling the end of America being a great and powerful nation.
     
    Liberals are traitors and should be dealt with as such.

  • “To extend the long-term solvency of Social Security, it would propose dramatically increasing payroll taxes on both the employer and employee side, and funneling the money into even more generous benefits.”

    Yes that worked out so well last time.  We only have about $3 trillion in IOUs currently in Social security.  Why not make it more.

    As for the rest.

    Madness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    At least we have republicans in charge of the House which controls most of the spending.