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Category Archives: Budgets

What the “Super Congress must do; for Progressives

1. Create an economy that creates atleast 300,00+ jobs per month.

2. Create and economy with a minimum 4% increase in GDP growth rate.

3. Allow all Bush tax cuts to end.

4. Means test Medicare, and Social Security.

5. Add a 4.5% surtax on individuals making above 250,000 to help pay for entitlement programs.

6. Increase the negotiating power of the federal government on healthcare.

7. End too big to fail, and trust bust too big to fail corporations.

8. Add a tax on risky financial tools; such as derivatives and credit default swaps.

9. Enact a public option.

10. End the corporate loopholes that allow some businesses to pay nothing in taxes.

10. Put in place a cap-and-trade programs that forces the private sector to innovate.

11. Enact the Congressional Reform Act of 2011.

12. Force corporations to bring back foreign profits, and use those profits to fund the rebuilding of America.

13. Reform the financial institutions that brought as to where we are today.

14. End NAFTA, and bring the jobs home to America.

15. Repeal of the Citizens United case.

16. Enact malpractice reform.

17. End the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Posted by on August 11, 2011 in Budgets, Debt, Fairness, Health Care, Investments, Taxes

 

How America can regain it’s triple-A credit rating

The credit rating agency S&P that downgraded the American credit rating for the first time in history has laid a framework for how America can be AAA again. First, they understand that spending cuts don’t really address the unfunded liabilities of our government. If we are going to decrease our deficit we have to fund or decrease our long-term unfunded liabilities. These liabilities include entitlement spending in Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. But, one must remember that Social Security doesn’t contribute to the deficit, and only in 2037 will any beneficiary see a decrease on benefits; 25% decrease. But, the gap between what Social Security bring in, and what it pays out to its members will NOT add one dime to the deficit, or debt. That is fact. S%P has said that he need entitlement reform, and that we need to raise taxes. The most important thing that the credit agency said that will do the most to solve our debt problems strengthen the economy. The cuts only approach is bad for our country because the proposal passed by Congress this August will only hinder economic growth; by a projected net decrease of 1.8 million jobs. Loosing those jobs will increase the deficit, and decrease growth to -1%. Those Republicans are showing they are pro-grwoth; even though the legislation they’ve passed and have tried to pass this year will make the economy worse. Yes, the credit rating agency S&P made a mistake downgrading America. The treasury bond is still the safest investment next to gold, but they were right to call out politicians who are saying we can’t address taxes or entitlements. With with this downgrade the Republicans should be put to rest. Hundreds of respectable Republicans and economists from around this country have said that taxes must be a part of this plan. Republicans have to stop playing this game. Why should the poor be asked to sacrifice even more than they already have throughout this recession. Tax along can solve our fiscal problems. We need to stop the war on the poor and middle class. and start a war with the true reason why we’re in this situation; the wars, the rich, the banking system, fraudulent trade deals, and profit-making corporations. We must bring trust busting back.

As a progressive here’s how we can save our entitlement programs. On Medicare the government can negotiate drug prices under the Medicare Part D law. THe rich can pay more into the system by a 4% surtax. Rich seniors by law will still be required to pay into the system, but they will receive less, and more benefits will go to poorer seniors; they people who need this healthcare. Allow all citizens to pay into a Medicare system which will take the burden off the system. THis program would b like a public option; if you want what Republicans call a “government, socialist, horrible, governmental take-over, rationing” health insurance plan you will have that choose. This government insurance option could be taken by individuals, but they could also continue receiving their insurance on the private market. On Social Security you could tax 90% of income. Tighten up disabilities pay. Anyone who is disabled should have full access to the SSI system, but if you’re frading the system and taking free money that practiced must be stopped. Every program should be means tested; if you’re rich, and can survived without these programs you don’t need to depend on the government. Improving the economy will have the biggest effect on reducing Medicaid costs, because if the economy gets better and more jobs are created many fewer citizens will need this program. These proposols are just a start, but a general framework of a plan must make sure that these prorgrams allow the poor a better chance. Also, in both of these government programs the government needs to bundle funds; meaning that the government will pay for someone getting healthier rather than for services. The days of fee for service in the medical field need to end! Any entitlement reforms in the eyes of the Progressives should;

1. Not privatized any part of the programs.

2. Increase benefits to the individuals who need them most.

3. Increase the amount that the rich pay into the system.

4. Make healthcare cost for everyone go down.

5. Make the system fairer for everyone.

6. Extend for at least 50-75 years the solvency on these programs. 

7. Increase the taxable income on Social Security.

8. Close the Social Security trust fund to congressional spending. End congressmen and women taking money out of these trust funds.

S&P is correct on their assessment on how we should reduce the debt, and I hope Republicans soon wake up to the facts and what 80% of the American people say; the rich must pay more.

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2011 in Budgets, Debt, Economy

 

The U.S. economy…needs work.

There are several ways in which the U.S.can revitalize its economy. First, allow everyone inAmericato work. Second, reduce the long-term, structural deficit. Third, invest in key areas like education, clean energy, and energy idependence. Fourth, makes cuts in waste, fraud, abuse, and duplicative spending. Fifth, allow every American equal opportunity. Sixth, put in place government policies that truly will allow businesses to grow.

Creating Jobs

Many argue of the Republicans argue that the government can’t create job, but that idea is wrong. When the private market fails to produce jobs the government should employ people, but the private sector has failed their role. The government could put in place the CCC, or Civilian Conservation Corps. The government could give the 16 million unemployed Americans money to help them pay their mortgage and pay for food. But, the most ultimate win for creating jobs that most directly benefit the middle class are the establishment of unitization of the private sector. Unions are what have made America great. They allow for the American worker to fight for their rights for equal and higher pay and benefits including health and benefits. Unions aren’t destroyingAmericathey are making the American worker strong. I would agree to reduce the corperate tax rate down to 29%, but only if they agree to hire worker in a meaningful way. If the government enacts policy that business would benefit from the business should have the common decency to do something in turn for the government; and that is hire American workers. The government could incentivize the hiring of workers by providing tax benefits to those companies that hire.

Maybe Obama can create jobs? Hmmmm…

Reducing the Deficit

Reducing the deficit is a complex issue because cutting government spending certainly will have an impact on the economy’s ability to create jobs. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/01/unemployed-debt-ceiling-deal_n_914801.html -This link explains very clearly how governmental policy can negatively effect job growth.) Reducing the deficit in my opinion must occur three ways reducing health care costs, increasing revenue, but still investing in key services such as education, clean energy, research and development, and services to the poor. The more people out of work the most expanses that, and the increase in budget deficits, the government will face. In the long run the best way to reduce the budget deficit to have full or almost full-employment. The current debt deal will kill 1.8 million jobs according to analysis from the Center Economic Policy and Research. That is not a way to reduce the deficit. Also, health care cost factor into this debate. Medicare and Medicaid costs are rising just as health care premiums are rising. The best way to reduce the cost of health care? A single payer healthcare system where everyone can get health care insurance at a prince that they can pay. The government sets rates, the poor pay less and the rich pay more, and the government can negotiate prices to procedures and services bringing down costs. But since this option seems impossible during this current legislative session they’re other things we could do. The Affordable Care Act makes a good start in this area. Medicare doctors will now be paid for their ability to make their patients healthy rather than for every service they provide. Also, the Medicare program will charge surtax on the richest Americans to pay for the sustainability of the program. Also, having more people insured decreases the overall cost of the health care system. 31 million people will now have insurance. These proposals and many others will have a good impact on bringing down the deficit by 300 billion in the first ten years of this law alone. What more can be done? The policy of paying for patients speedy recovery rather than the services a doctor provides should be expanded to the private market; not just the public sector. This policy is called bundling. Also, the health insurance companies should be required to use all of their premiums collect to pay towards their patients who need services; they should only be allowed to pay their employers, and these companies should be making a profit! All in all, the most effective way to reduce the ballooning costs of the government sponsored health insurance programs is to make all Americans covered under these plans, and that would really reduce the deficit.

The deficit should also be controlled and brought down by increasing revenue to the government. I propose creating new tax brackets on the rich, and on the poor;

1-1000 = 1%     10,001-20,000 = 5%     

20,001-30,000 = 7%   30,001-35,000= 10%    

35,001-45,000= 15%    45,001-49,000= 22.5%    

49,001-69,000= 24%      69,001-145,000=34.5%    

145,001-250,000= 39.5%     250,001-500,000= 45%    

500,001-750,000= 49%    750,001-999,999= 55%

1,000,000-999,999,999= 75%+1,000,000,000= 91%DESCRIPTION

Also, any capital gains should be taxed as regular income for earners making over 250,000 per year. For anyone making under that amount the rate should be increased to 21.5%; raised from 15%. Deductions for those making over 250,000 per year should be eliminated, but the only loophole that could remain is if earners can prove they need help sending their children to college they should be eligible to receive the college tuition tax credit. Otherwise all loopholes for the rich should be eliminated. But, for the middle class the current tax credits should still be available.

The corperate rates in this country are terrible; is it fair that some companies get away without paying any taxes? (General Electric paid zero in taxes) Corperation should have to pay a fair income tax just like every wage earner. (The rich still need some help with this…) Get rid of loopholes. Make corperations pay a fair tax rate of 29%. But, if corporations refuse to hire workers and be patriotic they can handle paying the standard 35% in taxes.

Investments

Our country needs key investments.

Education needs to be reformed badly. We need to get the red tape out of the class room. Teachers are paid to teacher students. Local, state, and federal governments need to get out of the way; yes this is a Progressive saying this. But, funding should be increased to allow our schools to become great again. Put a surtax on the rich. Put a tax on luxury goods. Instead of state testing we need national testing. A test that will evaluate kids reading comprehension abilities, mathematic understanding, and writing skills. We need a national team of teachers to build a national framework for educational standards. These tests should only be given to students in 6th grade and 10th grade to test in these key times of development. We need to pay teacher more; the higher paid the teacher the more likely they will do their job well. We need to stop teaching towards the test and teaching towards success. The states need to stop hammering out rules. We need to federal government to partner with teachers, education, administrators from across the country to produce meaningful standards that make benchmarks for reading ability, reading proficency, reading comphrension, and writing ability. In math students should have to understand basic mathematic principles and apply them to real life situations.

Clean energy can be where real growth occurs in our economy. The jobs in this sector are growing and high paying. Solar panels, tide energy, wind energy, electric cars, solar cars, geothermal, and nuclear energy are all things the U.S.government should be investing in and promoting. There are two ways the government can help reduce its budget deficit and promote clean energy; a carbon tax and a gasoline tax increase. The carbon tax would stop much pollution among U.S.business and force these companies to innovate and find solutions to help them use less energy. While the revenue coming into the government from the tax in carbon would help fund development of new clean energy products. It seems a win, win situation. The companies don’t want to pay higher taxes, so they make what they do require less energy; innovation. And this is good for America. A gasoline tax, even though a regressive tax, would force many American to buy energy efficient cars which use less energy. But, individuals with incomes below 34,500 should be exempted from this tax. This would cause businesses and individuals to innovate how they use energy. Clean energy would putAmericatowards a strengthened future.

Fairness

We need a government that works for the American people. Tax Reform, along with investments are needed to bring American’s economy back from the brink. When taxes on the rich keep going down an down, but the wages of the middle class keep falling and falling while their tax rates remain steady something needs to be done. And these are just some starting ideas. More ideas to come!

 

The People’s Budget

This budget has gotten no attention by the American news media. Why? Because this plan will actually do something to tackle our deficit. This proposal will not harm senior or the vulnerable, but it reduces the deficit by higher taxing on the rich and the banksters and goons that helped to create the recession and destroyAmerica.

Why should the middle class suffer more, by cutting government spending, when many people are just barely making ends’ meet from pay check to pay check? Why should we decrease government loans to students, and not ask the rich to pay their fair share in taxes? The rich can afford to pay more, and many of the rich never even asked for these tax cuts.

This is how Progressives fix our debt without harming the American economy:

The People’s Budget eliminates the deficit in 10 years, puts Americans back to work and restores our economic competitiveness. The People’s Budget recognizes that in order to compete, our nation needs every American to be productive, and in order to be productive we need to raise our skills to meet modern needs.

Our Budget Eliminates the Deficit and Raises a $31 Billion Surplus In Ten Years
Our budget protects Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and responsibly eliminates the deficit by targeting its main drivers: the Bush Tax Cuts, the wars overseas, and the causes and effects of the recent recession.

Our Budget Puts America Back to Work & Restores America’s Competitiveness
• Trains teachers and restores schools; rebuilds roads and bridges and ensures that users help pay for them
• Invests in job creation, clean energy and broadband infrastructure, housing and R&D programs

Our Budget Creates a Fairer Tax System
Ends the recently passed upper-income tax cuts and lets Bush-era tax cuts expire at the end of 2012
Extends tax credits for the middle class, families, and students
Creates new tax brackets that range from 45% starting at $1 million to 49% for $1 billion or more
• Implements a progressive estate tax
• Eliminates corporate welfare for oil, gas, and coal companies; closes loopholes for multinational corporations
• Enacts a financial crisis responsibility fee and a financial speculation tax on derivatives and foreign exchange

Our Budget Protects Health
• Enacts a health care public option and negotiates prescription payments with pharmaceutical companies
• Prevents any cuts to Medicare physician payments for a decade

Our Budget Safeguards Social Security for the Next 75 Years
• Eliminates the individual Social Security payroll cap to make sure upper income earners pay their fair share
• Increases benefits based on higher contributions on the employee side

Our Budget Brings Our Troops Home
• Responsibly ends our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to leave America more secure both home and abroad
• Cuts defense spending by reducing conventional forces, procurement, and costly R&D programs

Our Budget’s Bottom Line
• Deficit reduction of $5.6 trillion
• Spending cuts of $1.7 trillion
• Revenue increase of $3.9 trillion
• Public investment $1.7 trillion

This plan is good for America. It doesn’t deeply cut into government spending, and it reduces the deficit by making the wealthiest millionaires and billionaires pay just a little more in taxes. The Progressives aren’t punishing the rich for their success they’re asking them to be patriotic and help the country get out of the mountain of debt that the U.S.has incurred.

This is what the American people want. They want to balance the budget with fairness asking those who make millions of dollars a year to pay a little more, but at the same time asking government to make modest cuts and making government more efficient and lean.

Placing a surtax on federal income taxes for people earning over $1 million a year: 81% acceptable
— Eliminating spending on so-called earmarks for special projects and specific areas of the country: 78% acceptable
— Eliminating funding for weapons systems the Defense Department says are not necessary: 76% acceptable
— Eliminating tax credits for the oil and gas industries: 74% acceptable
— Phasing out the Bush tax cuts for families earning $250,000 or more per year: 68% acceptable
— Freezing annual domestic spending at its current level for the next five years: 67% acceptable
— Reducing Medicare and Social Security benefits for wealthier retirees: 62% acceptable
— Gradually raising the Social Security retirement age to 69 by 2075: 56% acceptable
— Cutting funding for the new health-care law so that parts of it will not be put into effect or enforced: 51% acceptable
— Reducing agriculture subsidies or support to farmers and ranchers: 45% acceptable
— Eliminating funding to Planned Parenthood for family planning and preventive health services: 45% acceptable
— Gradually turning Medicare from a system in which the government pays for most beneficiaries’ medical bills into a program in which seniors would receive government-assisted vouchers to purchase private insurance: 44% acceptable

Among the budget cuts:

Subsidies to build new nuclear power plants: 57% acceptable
Federal assistance to state governments: 52% acceptable
The Environmental Protection Agency: 51%
Transportation and infrastructure projects: 51%
Scientific and medical research: 48%
National defense: 46%
Unemployment insurance: 43%
Head Start: 41%
College student loans: 39%

Heating assistance to low-income families: 34%
Medicaid: 32%
Medicare: 23%
K-12 education: 22%
Social Security: 22%

http://cpc.grijalva.house.gov/index.cfm?sectionid=70 – Progressive Caucus People’s Budget

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2011 in Budgets