The People’s Budget

You wouldn’t know it, listening to our legislators in Washington, but Americans are more worried about jobs than about the deficit.

If you rely on the mainstream press for information in the debate over the national budget, you may think only two options are at play, President Barack Obama’s and the House budget bill, both of which are more concerned about bringing down the deficit than creating jobs.

But—surprise!—there’s a third budget plan, a bill written by the 80-member Congressional Progressive Caucus, that offers a refreshing alternative that is much more in line with public preferences than either of the others. It’s called the People’s Budget, and it would allocate $1.45 trillion over the next decade to improving the nation’s infrastructure and creating jobs.

And—get this—it would do so while erasing the federal government’s annual deficit by 2021, faster even than the draconian House plan would. It would do this by raising taxes on the rich and big corporations, holding down health-care costs by creating a public option to compete with private insurers, withdrawing American troops from Iraq and Afghanistan and reducing Pentagon spending, and ending subsidies for big oil companies.

Polls show a majority of Americans support these proposals. Let’s hear it for the People’s Budget.