What Americans Want: The People’s Budget
The Congressional Progressive Caucus lays out a surprisingly popular vision of the future.
By DAVID MOBERG
On the issues, the public seems much more on the president’s side—and would even support a more progressive solution.
A national budget tells a lot more about a country and its politics than simply where the government’s money comes from and where it goes. As President Obama rightly stressed, it is also “about the kind of future we want …[and] the kind of country we believe in.”
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 opinon polls show the public often supports such measures.