For weeks, we’ve been listening to a back and forth debate about how Congress should move forward in addressing the nation’s projected budget deficit.
We’ve heard about the Ryan budget plan, supported by New Mexico Congressman Steve Pearce.
In it, major cuts would be made to Medicare and Medicaid, as well as to infrastructure spending and funds for Pell Grants for college tuition. Despite these cuts, the Ryan plan would add $6 trillion more to the national debt over the next ten years before it would begin to start paying it down.
That’s because, under the Ryan plan, the cuts to the social safety net and other programs are necessary to pay for more tax reductions for the rich — to the tune of $125,000 for individuals who have an annual income of more than $1 million a year.
We’ve also heard quite a bit about President Obama’s proposal. Compared to Ryan’s plan, it advocates a more balanced approach that would include negotiated cuts while making the rich pay their fair share on the revenue side.
But, there is a third proposal that hasn’t received as much attention in the mainstream media. It was prepared by the Progressive Caucus and is being called “The People’s Budget.” Watch this 90-second summary.
Today Politico came out with an interesting story on the controversy roiling around NM Congressman Steve Pearce’s failed attempt earlier this month to obtain an earmark that would have benefited some Texas-based land developers who happen to be his campaign contributors. Earmarks are supposed to be verboten under the new House rules. However, Pearce contended it wasn’t an earmark. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, along with a majority of the House, disagreed.
In the case of Medicare, the plan ultimately would shift increased costs to seniors, who would see their premiums go up, leaving them on their own to negotiate with health insurance companies. And as for Medicaid, the states would end up on the hook, and be unlikely to cover, the big federal cuts.
It’s important to note that the Pearce-backed Medicare and Medicaid reductions will be needed to help pay for more tax benefits for the rich. The plan calls for making the Bush tax cuts permanent, and then reducing the rate for the top tax bracket even further.
So, if this budget plan ever does become law, perhaps the folks at Verde Realty will come out okay in the end.