Wednesday, March 20, 2013

100 Democrats Vote against the Back to Work Budget


This is the third year in a row that I have watched the majority of the Democrats in Congress line up and vote against the budget proposed by the Congressional Progressive Caucus. The Back to Work Budget was offered as a substitution to the Ryan Plan.

I understand why all the Republicans voted against it; they voted against it because … well, because they are Republicans. But I don’t understand why 100 Democrats voted against it.

I want to know what part of the Back to Work Budget these so-called Democrats objected to!

Was it the 7 million new jobs that it would have created in the first year by investing in infrastructure, education, aid to states, making work pay, funding emergency unemployment compensation and public works job programs and aid to distressed communities?

Maybe it was the fair individual tax provision that would have allowed Bush era tax cuts to expire for families earning over $250 K? The higher tax rates for millionaire and billionaires (from 45% to 49%)? Or the provision to tax income from investment the same as income from wages?

It could have been the fair corporate tax provisions that end corporate tax bias toward moving jobs overseas enact a financial transactions tax and reduce deduction for corporate jets, meals and entertainment?

Or was it the reduction in military spending to 2006 levels and focusing on modern security needs?

Did these Democrats object to the part that protected Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security from benefit cuts? How about the part that reduced healthcare costs by adopting a public option, negotiating drug price and reducing fraud?

Don't these Democrats want to protect the environment? Do they object to prices on carbon pollution with a rebate to hold low income households harmless? Don’t they want to eliminate corporate tax subsidies for oil, gas and coal companies?

The Progressive Democrat Caucus budget would have reduced the budget deficit by $4.4 trillion and was projected to increase the GDP by 5.7%; is that what the Democrats objected to?

I just want to know why 100 Democrats thought that the Ryan Plan was better than Back to Work Plan offered by the Progressive Congressional Caucus.

Click here for Analysis of the Congressional Progressive Caucus budget for fiscal year 2014 produced by the Economic Policy Institute Policy Center.