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Progressive Caucus Releases Recommendations to Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction

The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) today sent policy proposals to Senator Patty Murray and Congressman Jeb Hensarling, Co-Chairs of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, recommending that the work of the committee focus on creating jobs, raising revenues through fair taxation and protecting Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. The CPC identified more than $4 trillion in savings, which would increase to more than $7 trillion if the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire on schedule. The recommendations direct the savings toward job creation, the single most important means to reduce the deficit.

“It’s way past time to talk big or think big – it’s time to govern big and do what needs doing,” CPC co-chair Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) said. “The American people are sick and tired of feeling too few in the government are responsive to their needs. While Republicans dither about cutting corporate taxes and dismantling Medicare, people are losing their homes, losing their jobs and losing their savings through no fault of their own. As a government, we need to look at ourselves and offer the country solutions that match the scope of the problems we face. Anything less is a waste of time.”

“While Republican politicians are busy slashing good paying American jobs from our economy, the Progressive Caucus continues to put job creation first with serious proposals to rebuild America,” said CPC Co-Chair Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN). “The most effective way to reduce the deficit is to put America back to work. Creating good jobs, making sure that everyone pays their fair share and protecting Social Security Medicare and Medicaid, are the best ways to ensure that all Americans are put on the path to prosperity, not just the wealthiest 1 percent,” Ellison concluded.  

The proposals would reduce the nation’s deficit by trillions of dollars, put Americans back to work and protect Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Key recommendations include a responsible end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, saving $1.6 trillion; enacting the Fairness in Taxation Act, creating a millionaire tax that generates $872.5 billion; and allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies, saving $157.9 billion.

"With the Super Committee, the Republicans have manufactured yet another budget crisis,” said CPC Budget Task Force Chair Rep. Michael Honda. “We can ‘go big’ and address our budget deficits by allowing the unpaid-for Bush tax cuts to expire and ending our unpaid-for wars on schedule. Anyone who says we need to cut education, cut the social safety net, cut Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare or provide more tax cuts to the rich, is pushing a political agenda, not sound fiscal policy."

Full text of the proposals is available here.