Tucson Progressive

Pamela Powers, a progressive voice for Arizona

Progressive Caucus Releases ‘Back to Work’ Budget


On Wednesday, the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) released its “Back to Work” Budget. Think of it as the polar opposite of the Republicans’ “Stab Americans in the Back”budget penned by Congressman Paul Ryan and released earlier in the week. Special thanks to Congressman Raul Grijalva, co-chair of the CPC. Each year, the CPC releases a common sense budget plan. When will Washington DC listen, when will the Lame Stream Media cover it? Go to this link to tell your Congressional representative to vote for the Back to Work Budget.

Here is the summary from the CPC…

7 million new jobs in one year

$4.4 trillion in deficit reduction

We’re in a jobs crisis that isn’t going away.  Millions of hard-working American families are falling behind, and the richest 1 percent is taking home a bigger chunk of our nation’s gains every year. Americans face a choice: we can either cut Medicare benefits to pay for more tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, or we can close these tax loopholes to invest in jobs.  We choose investment.  The Back to Work Budget invests in America’s future because the best way to reduce our long-term deficit is to put America back to work.  In the first year alone, we create nearly 7 million American jobs and increase GDP by 5.7%.  We reduce unemployment to near 5% in three years with a jobs plan that includes repairing our nation’s roads and bridgesand putting the teachers, cops and firefighters who have borne the brunt of our economic downturn back to work.  We reduce the deficit by $4.4 trillion by closing tax loopholes and asking the wealthy to pay a fair share.  We repeal the arbitrary sequester and the Budget Control Act that are damaging the economy, and strengthen Medicare and Medicaid, which provide high quality, low-cost medical coverage to millions of Americans when they need it most.  This is what the country voted for in November.  It’s time we side with America’s middle class and invest in their future.

Job Creation

• Infrastructure – substantially increases infrastructure investment to the level the American Society of Civil Engineers says is necessary to close our infrastructure needs gap

• Education – funds school modernizations and rehiring laid-off teachers

• Aid to States – closes the recession-caused gap in state budgets for two years, allowing the rehiring of cops, firefighters, and other public employees

• Making Work Pay – boosts consumer demand by reinstating an expanded tax credit for three years

• Emergency Unemployment Compensation – allows beneficiaries to claim up to 99 weeks of unemployment benefits in high-unemployment states for two years

• Public Works Job Programs and Aid to Distressed Communities – includes job programs such as a Park Improvement Corps, Student Jobs Corps, and Child Care Corps

Fair Individual Tax  

• Immediately allows Bush tax cuts to expire for families earning over $250K

• Higher tax rates for millionaires and billionaires (from 45% to 49%)

• Taxes income from investments the same as income from wages

Fair Corporate Tax

• Ends corporate tax bias toward moving jobs and profits overseas

• Enacts a financial transactions tax

• Reduces deductions for corporate jets, meals, and entertainment


• Returns Pentagon spending to 2006 levels, focusing on modern security needs

Health Care

• No benefit cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security

• Reduces health care costs by adopting a public option, negotiating drug prices, and reducing fraud


• Prices carbon pollution with a rebate to hold low income households harmless

• Eliminates corporate tax subsidies for oil, gas, and coal companies


The Back to Work Budget creates nearly 7 million jobs in its first year.

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The Tucson Progressive: Pamela J. Powers

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 focused on economic reforms to grow Arizona’s economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, grow local small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs.

In the Arizona House, I was a strong voice for fiscal responsibility a moratorium on corporate tax breaks until the schools were fully funded, increased cash assistance to the poor, expansion of maternal healthcare benefits, equal rights, choice, unions, education at all levels and protecting our water supply.

After three terms, I retired from the Arizona Legislature in January 2023 but will continue to blog and produce my podcast “A View from the Left Side.”

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