If you want “serious,” then consider the People’s Budget

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.

Ryan Plan: What’s so bad about raising Medicare eligibility age?

Plenty, it would seem.

For those of you that have been tracking the federal budget debate, The New Republic blog has an interesting post that examines this largely overlooked component of the Ryan Budget.

Jonathan Cohn writes,

So just to sum up: Raising the age at which Americans become eligible for Medicare, or whatever program Republicans put in its place, would make health insurance more expensive for businesses, workers, and their employees, all while leaving one-fifth of future 65- and 66-year-olds with too little insurance or none at all. And oh, by the way, this is all part of a Republican budget that enacts huge tax breaks for the wealthy. You don’t have to be a senior citizen to get grumpy about that.

Perhaps we should start calling this the “Oh By The Way Budget.”