10 things you should know about Obama's budget plan (but probably don't)
- Makes a $634 billion down payment on fixing health care that will go a long way toward paying for a more efficient, more affordable health care system that covers every single American.
- Reduces taxes for 95% of working Americans. And if your family makes less than $250,000, your taxes won't go up one dime.
- Invests more than $100 billion in clean energy technology, creating millions of green jobs that can never be outsourced.
- Brings our troops home from Iraq on a firm timetable, finally bringing the war to a close—and freeing up almost ten billion dollars a month for domestic priorities.
- Reverses growing income inequality. The plan lets the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans expire and focuses on strengthening the middle class.
- Closes multi-billion-dollar tax loopholes for big oil companies.
- Increases grants to help families pay for college — the largest increase ever.
- Halves the deficit by 2013. President Obama inherited a legacy of huge deficits and an economy in shambles, but his plan brings the deficit under control as soon as the economy begins to recover.
- Dramatically increases funding for the SEC and the CFTC - the agencies that police Wall Street.
- Tells it straight. For years, budgets have used accounting tricks to hide the real costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush tax cuts, and too many other programs. Obama's budget gets rid of the smokescreens and lays out what America's priorities are, what they cost, and how we're going to pay for them.
We're all in this boat together, folks, and making sure that a small number of us are as wealthy as possible doesn't do anything for the long-term, big-picture survivability of the rest of us. If someone wants to enjoy the benefits of Life in America, then they need to help pay for them, not screw everyone else out of those benefits. Everyone - poor folks, rich folks, corporations - should pay their fair share of the burden of running the country. And it's in the long-term interest of all of us to be sure that all our parts (infrastructure, human capital) are in sound working order, hence the importance of funding education and health care.
Crunchy Chicken posted yesterday about an article which claims that the bulk of the Earth's surface will be uninhabitable as soon as 2050 due to a 4 degree C temperature rise. I haven't read the article yet as I'm already pretty convinced that Bad Things Are Coming. However, in light of this tidbit, it seems more important than ever that we Get Green and Work Together. Life as we know it is going to change; a progressive budget might help ensure that some of us survive that change.