Tucson Progressive

Pamela Powers Hannley, a progressive voice for Arizona

America: Do you want the ‘people’s budget’ or the military-industrial complex’s budget?

Congress sort of put the 2011 budget to bed last Friday with an 11th hour deal that forestalled a federal government shutdown. Teapublicans had a laundry list of progressive legislation that they wanted to completely defund or dramatically reduce:

  • Head Start (which helps poor children be prepared to enter school) and public education, in general,
  • Pell Grants (which help poor and middle class children go to college),
  • AmeriCorps (which gives young people community volunteering experience and, in turn, helps pay their college tuition),
  • Planned Parenthood (which helps poor and middle class women receive birth control),
  • Community health centers (which help poor and middle class people get basic health care),
  • Biomedical research through the National Institutes of Health (which spurs innovation and creates jobs–WTF?),
  • National Public Radio and the Public Broadcasting System (which help us elites stay stay up-to-date on progressive politics and research breakthroughs– sarcasm alert).

Missing from the Teapublican budget-balancing list is any mention of:

  • Cutting military spending, scaling back the wars, and stopping US imperialism,
  • Closing unnecessary military bases (particularly in Europe– let them pay for their own defense!),
  • Closing tax loopholes (so corporate giants like Bank of America have to actually pay some taxes),
  • Taxing corporations for every job, factory, or bank account they send abroad,
  • Raising taxes on the richest Americans to lessen the growing income disparities in the US,
  • Intervening with lenders to help people stay in their homes (which would help middle class homeowners who have been hard hit by unemployment or other effects of the Great Recession)
  • Ending the war on Drugs (which is a huge waste of money and never worked),
  • Legalizing marijuana (which would put a dent in the drug violence and smuggling while raising sales tax revenue, but, of course, the big tobacco and big booze wouldn’t like it; the feds eased the effects of the Great Depression in the 1930s when they ended prohibition),
  • Allowing Medicare and Medicaid to negotiate prescription drug prices (a very easy way to “fix” those programs without dismantling them),
  • Adopting universal healthcare (a great way to keep healthcare costs down),
  • Legalizing undocumented workers (so they can be paid a decent wage and contribute to social security),
  • Allowing workers to organize (so they can be paid a decent wage and contribute to social security),
  • Preserving public and private jobs,
  • Creating jobs (duh).

What makes the first list so attractive to Teapublicans is that– except for the last two items (medical research and public broadcasting)– the cuts only hurt the poor and middle class families. These groups are too disorganized, too uninformed, or too distraught trying to find food and shelter to fight back. Teapublicans, Republicans, and some Democrats don’t want to touch most of the items on the second list because each item has at least one group of corporate lobbyists protecting it.

Except for throwing Washington DC’s reproductive health services under the bus (what’s up with that?), the top list of programs survived the recent budget battle which cut $38 billion from the current budget. (Tepublicans also wanted to weaken the Environmental Protection Agency’s [EPA] ability to protect air and water from pollution and weaken the Food and Drug Administration’s [FDA] ability to protect the food supply, but I couldn’t find an online reference for how those proposals faired in the 11th hour of budget negotiations. Except for the fact that deregulation is at the top of every corporate wish list, these EPA and FDA cuts would harm the public health and safety of all Americans.)

2012 Teapublican Budget
Now the 2012 budget battle begins. Ultra-conservative Representative Paul Ryan’s budget plan would:

  • Defund and dismantle the Affordable Care Act (which saves money),
  • Destroy Medicare for people under 55 by changing it into a voucher system, thus forcing patients to absorb ever-increasing costs — not the government, pharmaceutical companies, healthcare institutions, or insurance companies. (How business friendly could you be?),
  • Destroy Medicaid by giving block grants to the states to manage it (Oh, God, the Arizona Legislature would give the money away to a group of corporations to run the program or just give it away in tax cuts!),
  • Cut spending to 2008 levels,
  • And, of course, promise to lower taxes (probably for the rich).

Although some tout Ryan as a conservative visionary with his brave budget-balancing act, I call him the ultimate hypocrite flip-flopper, since he was in the drunken sailors club that created the budget deficit during the Dark Ages (AKA the Bush Administration). Now he’s got religion and wants to cut-cut-cut, since that is currently popular in conservative circles.

2012 People’s Budget
To counter Ryan’s “artless war on the poor”, the 80-member Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC)– co-chaired by our own Representative Raul Grijalva and Representative  Keith Ellison— revealed the People’s Budget. According to their website, the CPC proposal:

  • Eliminates the deficits and creates a surplus by 2021.
  • Puts America back to work with a “Make it in America” jobs program.
  • Protects the social safety net.
  • Ends the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
  • Is FAIR (Fixing America’s Inequality Responsibly).

Also according to their website, the CPC proposal accomplishes:

  • Primary budget balance by 2014.
  • Budget surplus by 2021.
  • Reduces public debt as a share of GDP to 64.4% by 2021, down 16.9 percentage points from a baseline fully adjusted for both the doc fix and the AMT patch.
  • Reduces deficits by $5.7 trillion over 2012-21
  • Both outlays and revenue equal 22.3% of GDP by 2021.

Ironically, if you want to learn more about a proposal made by a Southern Arizona Congressman, you have to go to the Huffington Post– or the TucsonCitizen.com– because it was not covered by the Arizona Daily Star. From the Huffington Post

Their [the Progressive Caucus’] plan is humane, responsible, and most of all sensible, reflecting the true values of the American people and the real needs of the floundering economy. Unlike Paul Ryan’s almost absurdly vicious attack on the poor and working class, the People’s Budget would close the deficit by raising taxes on the rich, taming health care costs (including a public option), and ending the military spending on wars and wasteful weapons systems.

So, the question is: Going forward, do we want the People’s Budget or military-industrial complex’s budget? Do we want government for the people or against the people? What transpires in the coming months is gravely important for future generations; we have to pay attention as events unfold in Washington.

34 comments on “America: Do you want the ‘people’s budget’ or the military-industrial complex’s budget?

  1. jim hannley
    April 12, 2011

    We want the Peoples’ Budget!

  2. Dr. Diane Katz
    April 12, 2011

    Thank you for this — isn’t America about the people? Oops! I think they forgot! Power to the people.

    • latino4ever
      April 12, 2011

      Then you should be all for overturning RoevWade and let the People decide how they want to regulate child murder.

  3. Pingback: America: Do you want the ‘people’s budget’ or the military-industrial … – Tucson Citizen | The Write Article

  4. brock2118
    April 12, 2011

    To the barricades!  Hasn’t worked any where else but what the heck, string up the rich!

    • leftfield
      April 12, 2011

      Reading the proposed budget again, I don’t see anything about hanging anyone.  Perhaps you’re speaking metaphorically and suggesting that the ‘trickle down” Friedman approach should be given another 30 years.  That works really well if you are already rich. 

  5. You must be kidding
    April 12, 2011

    People’s budget my hairy behind!

    • leftfield
      April 12, 2011

      TMI

  6. You must be kidding
    April 12, 2011

    It is a let’s all go socialist budget

    • leftfield
      April 12, 2011

      Anything other than eliminating social services while cutting taxes for businesses and wealthy individuals is socialism?  

      Bad news – I was in D.C. recently and discovered that all the National institutions like the Smithsonian, etc, are free to enter.  All are paid for by your tax dollar in a give-away to people like me.   

      • PeoplesBudget4Evah
        April 12, 2011

        ANY social services at the federal level are socialist. “Regulate Interstate commerce” does not mean start a retirement program.
        BTW the Smithsonian was created out of a trust from PRIVATE donations (as were the first public libraries).  It does receive federal funding today and that should be stopped.

      • leftfield
        April 12, 2011

        How about that Lincoln Monument?  That’s free, too.  It just has ‘communism’ written all over it.  We best close it down or sell it off to Nike and let them collect admission.  And the Interstate Highways?  Socialist highway robbery.   

  7. dollarshort
    April 12, 2011

    Where have I heard the phrase “People’s budget” before?

    • leftfield
      April 12, 2011

      Probably on some right wing website.

  8. RH
    April 12, 2011

    Wisconsin was the waterloo for the teapublicans, they got exposed in the prank phone call to the govenor there who is bought and paid for by the billionaires who really created this hooligan movement called the tea party, they are nothing but a new form of “union busting thugs with suits”, folks are slowly but surely waking up to who the GOP really represents, its not the 98% who are two mere pay, dividend, pension, annuity checks from homelessness, or paying them right side up/upside down mortgages, got credit card debt, auto loans, worry about price of gas, food etc, no its them 2% richest in america who only might worry about their next yacht, mansion, private plane, limo purchase, who don’t worry about cost of food, gas etc, no the GOP has slowly but surely come out of their rich folks closets, into the day light and they are not for the working class of america but the non working class them folks who inherited their wealth, cheated folks with stock fraud on wall street, selling them sham pie in the sky paper riches which turn to trash over night!:-)

  9. latino4ever
    April 12, 2011

    “Peoples Budget” Sounds reminiscent of the communist/socialist regimes. Yes they were all peace loving and had roaring economies.
    You should do an article on the enumerated powers in the constitution that give congress the authority to fund the “People’s Budget”.

    • leftfield
      April 12, 2011

      Yes they were all peace loving and had roaring economies.

      Nobody even comes close to the old US of A when it comes to going to war.  Whenever the economy is not “roaring”, a war always helps it along. 

      • Mrs. Olgerberry
        April 12, 2011

        I notice you are not living in North Korea, China, Venezuela?
        Shelves were empty in the Soviet Union.  People were eating other people in The Ukraine and Chinese country side because of collectivism. At one time farmers were feeding loaves of bread to their pigs because the artificial prices made it cheaper than feeding them wheat. 30 million starved/murdered by Stalin.  64 million starved murdered by Mao just during the “cultural” revolution. 2 million murdered in north korea. 1.5 million murdered in cambodia.
        BTW your last statement is a tu quo que logical fallacy.

      • leftfield
        April 12, 2011

        I’m not so sure about the tu quoque business.  After all, that is a form of the ad hominem argument and there is no ‘hominem’ to which I refer.  Nonetheless, I will rephrase my statement and say simply that, relatively speaking, the “communist/socialist regimes” are less war-mongering than the US.   

        I am sure it is a logical fallacy to rebut my argument that the US is a bellicose nation by saying people starved in China.  That is a bit of a non sequitur.  I will admit that not all of the dead in the former Soviet Union could have been conservatives, so obviously some mistakes were made.

         

  10. latino4ever
    April 12, 2011

    “defense spending does not continue to contribute significantly to our current
    fiscal burden”
    It doesn’t. Defense spending is ~20% of the budget. Entitlements are 60%.
    “Enact a public option”
    I notice they did not list a cost for this one. Hmmmm…
    “Negotiate Rx payments with pharmaceutical companies”
    Yes, there is absolutely no way that government negotiators/regulators will be captured by this industry. That only happens to other regulators.
    “Prevent a cut in Medicare physician payments for a decade (maintain doc fix)”
    Cost?
    “Enact a financial crisis responsibility fee”
    WTF is this?
    “Tax U.S. corporate foreign income as it is earned”
    Of course the companies will not move over seas. That never happens.
    “extend marriage relief, credits, and
    incentives for children, families, and education”
    Cost?
    “Progressive estate tax (Sanders’ estate tax, repeal of Kyl-Lincoln)”
    I see foreign Trusts in your future.
    “Budget surplus of $30.7 billion in 2021,”
    This is based on the first plot that shows the federal deficit will be DECREASED by more than half by 2014 (in 2 years). The plot is already wrong for 2011 and both proposed 2012 budgets. This is the progressive starting point which is incorrect.
    “This proposal does not touch Tri-Care.”
    Whew! The communists and islamists will be sure not to attach us then!
    “a 45% rate on the taxable portion of estates up to $50 million, a 55%
    rate on the portion of estates up to $500 million, and a 65% rate on the portion of estates worth over $500 million.”
    You should do some research on how the Kennedy’s never paid any estate tax. If I will inherit $500 million I can easily avoid this tax.
    “Tax capital gains and qualified dividends as ordinary income”
    That’s OK. The federal reserve can always do QE-infinity and print more money. No need to have actual investors in America’s companies.

    • leftfield
      April 12, 2011

      You’re right…we should definitely stick with Milton Friedman, who is as dead as his theories about the economy.  Thrity more years of “redistributing” income, letting Wall Street speculate freely with everyone’s money, bring back pre-existing conditions, maybe privatize air and water, and everything will be just fine.  Prosperity is just around the corner!   

      • PeoplesBudget4Evah
        April 12, 2011

        Banks are only speculating with everyones (taxpayer’s) moeny because our large centralized government and associated private bank (federal reserve) gives it to them. It is only the government that can take someone’s money by force “legally”. This budget wants to increase this taking.  I am sure if we are well intentioned enough regulatory agencies will stop being captured by agencies and everyone will do what is best for the little guy. Big government never works.
        Forget Milton. Check out: http://mises.org/

      • PeoplesBudget4Evah
        April 12, 2011

        BTW I notice you did not refute any of my claims. Thanks!

      • leftfield
        April 12, 2011

        I am sure if we are well intentioned enough regulatory agencies will stop being captured by agencies and everyone will do what is best for the little guy.

        Clearly the only answer, Latino, is to just forget about regulating business in the first place.  Why bother?  When left to their own devices, they will naturally treat the worker, the country and the environment with selfless devotion, eschewing short-term profits in favor of what is best for all.  They are essentially in the business of public service and we all know that ‘taking the shackles off business’ is the key to our future. 

  11. latino4ever
    April 12, 2011

    From the Communist Manifesto so you know what the “People’s Budget” was inspired by:

    Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes. (research the land grabs by the fed government)
    A heavy progressive or graduated income tax. (Check!)
    Abolition of all right of inheritance. (Estate tax. Check!)
    Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels. (Watch out for those radical right wind militias!)
    Centralisation of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly. (Federal reserve anyone?)
    Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State. (What is the FCC doing with the internet? Public transportation anyone?)
    Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
    Equal liability of all to labour. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
    Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equitable distribution of the population over the country.
    Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production. (Public and State Funded education. Check!).

  12. PeoplesBudget4Evah
    April 12, 2011

    From the Communist Manifesto so you know what the “People’s Budget” was inspired by:
    Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes. (research the land grabs by the fed government)
    A heavy progressive or graduated income tax. (Check!)
    Abolition of all right of inheritance. (Estate tax. Check!)
    Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels. (Watch out for those radical right wind militias!)
    Centralisation of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly. (Federal reserve anyone?)
    Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State. (What is the FCC doing with the internet? Public transportation anyone?)
    Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
    Equal liability of all to labour. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
    Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equitable distribution of the population over the country.
    Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production. (Public and State Funded education. Check!).

  13. jd
    April 13, 2011

    You have got to be kidding me.  I think the author of this piece was smoking the same marijuana he wants to legalize while writing this.

    And reading some of the comments from some of you “PROGRESSIVES”, er “LIBERALS”, I think you are smoking the same stuff.

    Pull your heads out of the sand people.  I read this article twice because I thought it was a joke the first time.  What is so sad about the state of some of you people is…..   HE WAS SERIOUS!!!!!

  14. Plain ol B.O.
    April 13, 2011

    “KingFish” Raul says it…You better like it- he must be holding court from the local tavern again, like he used to over on Alvernon while he was tipping them as the county machine man…. A small dose of reality-

     In 2008, the Congressional Budget Office reported that in order to simply pay for spending that was locked in at that time, we would have to raise both the corporate tax rate and the top individual tax rate from their current level of 35 percent to 88 percent, raise the 25 percent tax rate for middle-income workers to 63 percent, and raise the 10 percent rate for low-income Americans to 25 percent. That was before Obamacare and the post-2008 spending binge.

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  19. Budget 2010
    June 30, 2011

    we want people’s budget only because visual ,communication, and innovation all sector has growth in people’s budget only.
     
     
    ——-
    Thomson

  20. Pingback: Progressive Caucus Releases ‘Back to Work’ Budget | Tucson Progressive

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About

The Tucson Progressive: Pamela Powers Hannley

I stand on the side of Love. I believe in kindness to all creatures on Earth and the inherent self-worth of all individuals--not just people who agree with me or look like me.

Widespread economic and social injustice prompted me to become a candidate for the Arizona House, representing Legislative District 9 in the 2016 election. My platform focuses on economic reforms to grow Arizona's economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, growlocal small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs. I also stand for equal rights, choice, and paycheck fairness for women. I am running as a progressive and running clean.

My day job is managing editor for the American Journal of Medicine, an academic medicine journal with a worldwide circulation. In addition, my husband and I co-direct Arizonans for a New Economy, Arizona's public banking initiative. I am a member of the national board of the Public Banking Institute, and I am co-chair of the Arizona Democratic Progressive Caucus, the largest caucus of the Arizona Democratic Party.

I am a published author, photographer, videographer, clay artist, mother, nana, and wife. I have a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ohio State University and a masters in public health from the University of Arizona. I grew up in Amherst, Ohio, but I have lived in Tucson, Arizona since 1981. I am a proud member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson and the Public Relations Society of America.

My Tucson Progressive blog and Facebook page feature large doses of liberal ideas, local, state, and national politics, and random bits of humor. I also blog at Blog for Arizona and the Huffington Post.

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