Congress is locked in budget negotiations related to the upcoming sequester. This week, the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) unveiled the “Balancing Act.” Noting that 2/3 of the deficit reduction that has taken place since 2011 has come from cuts, not revenues, the CPC plan adopts an approach that would have a truly balanced 50-50 cuts-revenue ratio.
Additionally, the plan invests in the economy with the goal of creating jobs — the best long-term path to deficit reduction.
Here’s some of the key elements of the CPC plan:
- Raise $948 Billion In Revenues: This is done by closing various special interest loopholes — such as international tax loopholes that maintain offshore tax havens — and by ending subsidies for fossil fuel companies.
- Cutting $278 Billion In Pentagon Waste: Unlike some lawmakers in Washington who want to spare the Defense Department altogether, the CPC cuts backs on unnecessary weapons programs such as the V-22 Osprey. It also replaces the F-35 with the F-18 and reduces nuclear weapons expenditures, among other measures.
- Cuts The Deficit By Investing $276 Billion In Jobs: The plan also invests money by extending the Make Work Pay tax credit for a year and by spending on teachers and school modernization as well as transportation infrastructure.
Here’s a chart showing how the Balancing Act would finally offer a balanced approach to deficit reduction after years of relying on cuts:
One area the Balancing Act does not cut is Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security benefits.