In These Times
The Congressional Progressive Caucus lays out a surprisingly popular vision of the future.
But as happens so often in the United States, the political and media establishments distort the public debate by accepting the right-wing’s framing. In this case that means the issue is simply deficits and spending cuts, not national needs and adequate revenue. In this context, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the architect of the Republican budget plan, gets taken seriously when he proposes — with echoes of Vietnam — that we destroy Medicare in order to save it.
Consequently, the public is confused. More significantly, the corporate media give progressive alternatives short shrift, even though opinion polls show the public often supports such measures.
The corporate press, acting in its own self-interest, is loathe to report this fact.
Indeed, Obama is overly conservative.
Gee, ya think?
The People’s Budget, on the other hand, reflects the historical context. It is also more in tune with the sentiments of voters than either Ryan’s or Obama’s plan. Overwhelmingly, multiple polls show that voters oppose deep cuts in or radical transformation of Medicare (78 percent opposed in a Washington Post poll). By large margins, voters support a surcharge income tax on millionaires and billionaires, which is similar to the higher rates Rep. Schakowsky proposes (81 percent in a March NBC/Wall Street Journal poll). And a majority favors military spending cuts as a first step in deficit reduction (56 percent in the Post poll).
The People’s Budget is a lot more courageous, sensible and honest than either Ryan’s plan or Obama’s. It is a program that progressives and—if ardently championed—most Americans would support as a path not only to a responsible budget but also to a more prosperous, equitable future.
The drama queen media have made this a Ryan v Obama deal as a winner-take-all steel cage death match to the exclusion of better ideas. A three-way argument would confuse them and they for damn sure think it would confuse us. They're wrong and we will suffer for it.