Saturday, April 16, 2011

My Progressive Caucus/Obama/Ryan budget plan

1. I'd change everything by following Gore's proposal of ending payroll taxes and substituting a carbon tax for them:

But that completely sound approach is even more unlikely to happen than anything listed below, so moving on....

2. I would reinstate Clinton era levels for estate taxes. I'd split the new revenues 50-50 between reducing deficits and reducing income taxes for the top 10% (this would still be a progressive tax shift, because the people who pay estate taxes are far richer than the top 10% of income earners).

3. From the Progressive Caucus Budget Proposal, I'd keep the new tax brackets for millionaires (minus their share of the estate tax revenues), tax capital gains the same as income, add the public option for ObamaRomneyCare, negotiate market prices for Medicare Part D, and reduce defense expenditures by at least as much as they say, 15%-30%, maybe even more. I would keep half of present troop levels in Afghanistan, though, limited to cities, highways, and portions of the country where Karzai didn't steal the election/where the government is perceived as legitimate.

4. From Obama, I'd keep the phaseout of Bush cuts for incomes above $250,000, and of course ObamaRomneyCare.

5. From Ryan's plan, I would adopt the voucher proposal for Medicare, which is basically ObamaRomneyCare applied to seniors, with some changes. I'd include the public option that would basically be existing Medicare, and the vast majority of seniors would probably just stay in that system. I'd index the vouchers to GDP instead of inflation, because medical costs way exceed inflation but cannot exceed GDP increases forever. And I'd include the cost containment mechanisms of ObamaRomneyCare.

Mostly I'm adopting each plan's version of increasing revenues and cutting costs. And since this is my magical pony wish list, I'll keep going.

6. Limit the dependent child tax credit to one per adult, and then create a new and more generous credit for adopted and foster children with no limit on number.

7. Eliminate oil and other corporate subsidies, and farm subsidies.

I'm sure this will all happen, very soon.


  1. The problem with vouchers is that 15-20% goes to profit and administration rather than the ~2% for medicare.

  2. We would be much more secure (as in national security) with the DoD budget cut by 80% or so.

  3. Re vouchers, I expect Eli's quite possibly right, so a public option/Medicare option ought to win out in the competition. I wouldn't support the voucher idea without that public option.

    As for defense, I'd cut about 50%.

  4. Boris4:33 AM

    Legalize Marijuana. Tax it.


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