Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A different and more sensible approach to cutting the deficit

After the co-chairmen of the presidential commission on reducing the deficit came out with their draconian proposal last week, it was difficult to believe that anything sane and sensible would emerge from this ill-begotten group, but, in fact, today it did!

Representative Jan Schakowsky (D, IL-09) is a member of the commission and today she released her own proposal to reduce the deficit. Here are her major points:

* Ending various corporate tax breaks (132.2 billion in annual savings)

* Reducing defense spending (110.7 billion in annual savings)

* Taxing Capital Gains and dividends as ordinary income (88.1 billion)

* Passing cap and trade (52 billion)

* Passing a robust public option (10 billion)

* Reducing agricultural subsidies (7.5 billion)


In addition, she recommends several other smaller changes that would cut tens of billions from the federal budget deficit.

Her plan also focuses on $200 billion in investment spending that would help get people back to work, thereby saving the federal government in unemployment benefits and raising tax revenues.

In regard to Social Security, she proposes raising the cap on the income for which employees are required to contribute to the fund.

Of course, Rep. Schakowsky's plan does not penalize the working and middle classes in order to subsidize the very, very rich and so it probably will not be taken seriously by the "very serious people" who make these decisions and whose only concern seems to be making rich folks richer. Politically, these ideas are very popular with the majority of the American public, but then so was the public option for health care reform and we know how far that got.

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