The White House plans to unveil President Trump’s detailed 2018 budget tomorrow. While the people wait for its release it is worth noting that earlier this month the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) released ‘The People’s Budget: A Roadmap for the Resistance ’, which contains their plan for what the U.S. budget should be. Their budget was the first release in the 2018 fiscal year budget season, coming before either the President’s budget or any proposal from the Budget Committees.
“It’s one thing to oppose President Trump and expose his broken promises to workers, but it’s also important to lay out a positive path forward,” said Rep. Pocan . “The Congressional Progressive Caucus’s budget is a plan to actually help working Americans who have felt left behind by an economy rigged against them. Our budget is a roadmap for the resistance, investing in the progressive priorities and economic, kitchen table issues that matter to real people: infrastructure to create jobs; education to help our kids reach their full potential; and access to affordable health care.”
Here’s what two prominent organizations had to say after they assessed CPC’s ‘The People’s Budget’.
The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a nonpartisan, non-profit organization committed to educating the public on issues with significant fiscal policy impact, stated: “The [CPC] budget certainly contains a lot of tax and spending increases, but we welcome budget alternatives that improve the debt situation.” According to Committee’s analysis, ‘The People’s Budget’ “would represent a substantial improvement over our current debt trajectory. ”
The Economic Policy Institute analyzed and scored CPC’s budget  and stated: “We find The People’s Budget would have significant positive impacts.” Specifically, the Economic Policy Institute found The People’s Budget would:
- Improve the economic well-being of low- and middle-income families. The People’s Budget would boost gross domestic product (GDP) by 2 percent and employment by 2.4 million jobs in the near term. This would both close the output gap as measured by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and further push unemployment down, to 4 percent.
- Smartly cut spending. The budget focuses on modern security needs by repealing sequestration cuts and spending caps that affect the Defense Department but replacing them with similarly sized funding reductions that are less front-loaded and will allow more considered cuts.
- Make necessary public investments. The budget finances roughly $281 billion in job-creation and public-investment measures in calendar year 2017 alone and roughly $710 billion over calendar years 2017–2018.
- Facilitate economic opportunity for all. By expanding tax credits and other programs for low- and middle-wage workers, boosting public employment, and offering incentives for employers to create new jobs, The People’s Budget aims to boost economic opportunity for all segments of the population.
- Strengthen the social safety net. The People’s Budget strengthens the social safety net and proposes no benefit reductions to social insurance programs.
- Increase tax progressivity and adequacy. The budget restores adequate revenue and pushes back against income inequality by adding higher marginal tax rates for millionaires and billionaires, equalizing the tax treatment of capital income and labor income, restoring a more progressive estate tax, eliminating inefficient corporate tax loopholes, among other tax policies.
- Reduce the deficit in the medium term. The budget increases near-term deficits to boost job creation, but it reduces the deficit in FY2019 and beyond relative to CBO’s current law baseline.
Given the fact that where our leaders decide to invest matters to our well-being, it is vital that Congress develop a 2018 fiscal year budget that is grounded with a goal of serving and protecting all people.
Luis A. Toledo is a Public Policy Analyst for the Budget & Tax Center, a project of the North Carolina Justice Center.