Why won't Congress even consider progress?
President Obama sent Congress a $3.9 trillion dollar budget. Although his 2015 plan has been deemed more politics than policy, it's a blueprint of how to start repairing our economy. The 2015 fiscal plan would move us away from austerity, and start us back on a path of investing in our nation again. This budget has obvious benefits, but Congress isn't even going to consider it. Congressman Paul Ryan dismissed it as nothing but a “campaign brochure,” and the Chairwoman for the Senate Appropriations Committee, Barbara Mikulski, said that Congress “will adhere to the spending caps” in the Murray-Ryan deal.
The President's plan calls for higher taxes on the rich, strong investments in our roads and bridges, more money for education, and tax breaks for the working poor. When he announced the plan at an elementary school in Washington, President Obama said, “As a country, we've got to make a decision if we're going to protect tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans, or if we're going to make smart investments necessary to create jobs and grow our economy, and expand opportunity for every American.” And, although his plan won't be taken seriously by lawmakers, he's finally talking about what Americans really want, and what we need to make our economy work for the 99 percent.
At the very least, the President's budget provides a strong platform for Democrats in this year's elections. They have the opportunity to show Americans that they stand for progress – and that they support plans that benefit those who aren't part of the one percent. It's a shame that our lawmakers view the President's strong ideas as unrealistic. It's up to us to make them see that ending austerity and embracing investment is a plan that provides real benefits to all Americans.