There’s no shortage of news coverage when Rep. Paul Ryan and his Republican colleagues in the House release their own version of a national budget, despite the fact that the document has little chance of being passed. But when the 70 liberal Democrats of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) do the same, it passes largely unnoticed in the media – thereby limiting the scope of the debate presented to the U.S. public.
This year, the CPC’s “Better Off Budget,” released Wednesday, focuses on reversing what it sees as the self-inflicted wounds caused by Congress’ obsession with deficit reduction in recent years. Instead, the CPC advocates using hundreds of billions in new federal spending to, by their estimate, create 8.8 million jobs by 2017. Their budget would enact a three-year fiscal stimulus focused on infrastructure improvements; workforce training and investment for the long-term unemployed; aid to states to re-hire public safety and health care workers; and seven new direct employment programs for education and public works projects.