Calling the House Progressive Caucus Federal Budget plan centrist, is like calling a pig a giraffe. It doesn’t past the laugh test or the credibility test. This is a budget that got maybe 30 or 40 votes in the House. Out of a body of 435 members, so its a Fringe Budget by House Standards, since most of the members there aren’t for it. If the Progressive Budget came up for a vote in the Senate and the United States moved its Capitol to Milwaukee. Your looking at maybe two votes in the Senate. So it would be a Fringe Budget over in the Senate as well. Since most of its members aren’t for it either. If this budget ever made it to the President Obama’s desk and the Pacific Ocean went dry. The President would veto it, because of the Tax Increases on the Middle Class and the huge Spending Cuts in defense. So if your definition of centrism is something that can reach a consensus. And is roughly in between two sides, one side wants to do something one way. The other side comes from the opposite direction. The centrist position would be somewhere in between. Taking the best of both Worlds and putting it into a package that can work. And throwing out the garbage from both sides. Then the Progressive Budget is not it.
When it comes to writing a Centrist Budget and I’m not someone who’s looking for a Centrist Budget exactly. Other then we have a huge deficit and debt problem. And we really need to look for savings everywhere. So in that sense my position is centrist but I have my own approach to solving this problem. That I think would put me on the left, like substantial but smart cuts in defense. Like bringing troops back from Developed Nations that can afford to defend themselves. As well as reforming our Corrections System and War on Drugs. Alternative Sentencing for Non Violent offenders. Tax Increases on High Earners to pay down the deficit, eliminating Corporate Welfare and broader Tax Reform. That expands the Tax Base, eliminating loopholes and lowering rates. And I can go on but in the interest of your time and mine I won’t.
I’ll tell you what’s not a Centrist Budget and I’ll go through budget proposals. In a limited way assuming not all of my readers are insomniacs and have other things to do. On the Far Left you have the Progressive Budget. Which I’m not sure does a damn thing about the deficit other then leaving it where it is and puts a halt at current borrowing. But still leaves us with a huge Budget Deficit. It cuts defense but something like 50%, it cuts everywhere, even on things that we need. And puts all this money into funding other parts of the Federal Government, like Social Insurance and infrastructure. Not to pay down the deficit. It also increases taxes on everyone, including the Middle Class who are struggling right now. And worried if they are going to have a job in the future. How to pay their mortgage, send Billy and Jane to college etc. The average American Worker makes around 50K$ a year right now. I doubt their looking for a Tax Increase to make their lives easier.
On the Far Right, you have budget proposals that cuts everything except for defense. Apparently according to them, its not possible to spend too much on defense. Even though in a budget of 700B$, they probably waste the most money. So the Progressive Budget is not centrist but fringe by Congressional Standards. Its not centrist by Political Standards, if you took a poll of American Voters. And asked them should we be increasing tax on the Middle Class right now and spend that money on other things. Not pay down the deficit and debt. I’m willing to bet anything most of them would say no. The Progressive Budget is only a “Peoples Budget, in the sense that most of their supporters who are people obviously, go figure. Would vote for it, but not centrist in the sense, that anyone else would vote for it.
If its a Centrist Budget your looking for, then what you need to do is to look at budgets that are developed by a broad base of people. That combines what works from both sides in a package that can work and throws out the garbage from both sides. And so far the only Centrist Budget that I’ve seen that can work. And again it wouldn’t be my first choice, I think we can do much better. Is the budget that the Bowles-Simpson Debt Commission came up with. Thats the Centrist Budget thats on the table right now. Because it takes on everything in the Federal Budget but in a thoughtful way.