Make Real News!

100K Challenge!

$26,354 raised so farEND DATE: October 3   
Every dollar you donate will be matched until we reach our 100K goal!
  • Latest News
  • Pitch a Story
  • Work with a Journalist
  • Join the Blog Squad
  • Afghanistan
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Baltimore
  • Canada
  • Egypt
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • Middle East
  • Russia
  • Economy
  • Environment
  • Health Care
  • Military
  • Occupy
  • Organize This
  • Reality Asserts Itself
  • US Politics
  • Congressional Progressive Caucus Budget Strikes Back Against Austerity


    Robert Pollin: The Congressional Progressive Caucus's budget would increase spending on education, healthcare and the green economy while rolling back cuts against social services -   March 19, 2014
    Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here


    Audio

      Share to Twitter
    Share to Facebook




    You are an inspiration. Thanks for everything you are doing. - Brenton
    Log in and tell us why you support TRNN

    Bio

    Robert Pollin is professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is the founding co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI). His research centers on macroeconomics, conditions for low-wage workers in the US and globally, the analysis of financial markets, and the economics of building a clean-energy economy in the US. His latest book is Back to Full Employment. Other books include A Measure of Fairness: The Economics of Living Wages and Minimum Wages in the United States and Contours of Descent: US Economic Fractures and the Landscape of Global Austerity.

    Transcript

    Congressional Progressive Caucus Budget Strikes Back Against AusterityANTON WORONCZUK, TRNN PRODUCER: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Anton Woronczuk in Baltimore. And welcome to another edition of The Pollin Report.

    Now joining us is Robert Pollin. Robert Pollin is a professor of economics and a founding codirector of the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

    Thanks for joining us, Bob.

    ROBERT POLLIN, CODIRECTOR, PERI: Thank you very much for having me on.

    WORONCZUK: So the Congressional Progressive Caucus recently released their proposal for a federal budget that they claim will add about 9 million jobs to the economy over the next few years. Talk about the budget and whether you think that their projections are possible.

    POLLIN: I think it's a very credible budget that the Congressional Progressive Caucus has put out, the "Better Off Budget". Let's start with the things that we know are very straightforward. The projections on job creation are somewhat speculative. But here's some of the basic things.

    The budget that they've laid out directly attacks austerity. So that's number one. That's really outstanding. So, for example, the cuts to food stamps, I mean, some really basic stuff: 47 million people are facing cuts in food stamps. That's 15 percent of the population. Twenty-two million children are facing cuts in their access to food. So we are directly attacking food insecurity through the basic budget. So if it didn't do anything else, just starting there is a really good place to start.

    The cuts for unemployment insurance that were being experienced by long-term unemployed, those are reversed. So we're giving unemployment insurance to people who are suffering long-term unemployment due to the paltry, slow recovery out of this recession. So that's good.

    Pensions for public-sector workers, including military workers. The cuts that were enacted under the sequester are reversed.

    Spending on infrastructure, spending on schools, spending on health care, spending on the green economy, all of those things are expanding, not contracting, under the congressional budget's—Better Off Budget.

    So all of those things are really critical. They're all moving in the right direction.

    Now, if you spend more money in these areas, obviously, you have to pay for them somehow. So what do they do in terms of taxes? Well, number one, they follow the so-called Warren Buffett rule, Warren Buffett being the multi-multi-billionaire investor who says, in his opinion, he shouldn't have to pay a lower tax rate than his secretary. And so, effectively they are enacting the Warren Buffett rule by saying that the taxes that are paid on capital income have to be equivalent to taxes paid by people working for a living. Okay? So that's excellent.

    Number two, they are raising tax rates, income tax rates on people making $250,000 and more back up to—only up to the Clinton era levels of taxes. So it's a modest tax increase on the wealthy.

    Third, they're enacting a financial transaction tax, a tax on every single trade in the financial markets—a very, very modest tax, but that tax can generate a lot of money.

    They're closing loopholes for the fossil fuel industry. Oil, coal, natural gas are still being subsidized while they're burning up the earth. So we have that going on.

    And on top of that, we have a carbon tax, so that every time fossil fuel companies emit carbon into the atmosphere that is causing climate change, they have to pay for doing so. And the money gets rebated back to middle-income and lower-income families.

    So that's how they are able to spend more on meeting social needs and pay for it. The net result is that the deficit actually goes down. So the projection that they have, which I think is a credible projection, is that over time, the deficit will be actually at a lower level as a share of the economy, as a share of GDP than it has been on average over the last 50 years.

    WORONCZUK: And this proposal to create more jobs, what kind of jobs will be created?

    POLLIN: Well, jobs across the board, because the main way—of course, when you spend money on things like education, health care, infrastructure, you do create jobs. But, of course, when you take money out of people's pockets in terms of taxes, you reduce jobs. So where does the net stimulus to jobs come from? Basically, it comes from reducing inequality in the economy, because obviously what we see is we're spending more on meeting basic social needs, health care, food security, family security, education, infrastructure, and essentially we're taking the money out of the wealthy and Wall Street speculation.

    Now, the net effect of that is that it makes this a more equal society. And when you have more equality, you have spending increasing in the overall economy. Demand increases. Why? Because middle-class people, poor people, if they get more money in their pockets, they spend it. Wealthy people, if they get more money in their pockets, they use it much more for saving or for speculation. So we're going to reduce speculation and we're going to increase spending. That's the first way that you get job creation.

    The second way is, precisely, by reducing speculation, we reduce financial crises, we stabilize the economy. And that also will help create jobs.

    WORONCZUK: Bob Pollin, thanks so much for joining us.

    POLLIN: Thank you very much for having me on.

    WORONCZUK: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

    End

    DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


    Comments

    Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at contact@therealnews.com

    Comments


    Latest Stories


    What Drives Obama's Foreign Policy?
    Israel Facing Major Economic Consequences for 50 Day War on Gaza
    FBI Targets Minority Communities in Mortgage Fraud Investigations
    Obama's 'Moderate' Syrian Rebels Are Nowhere to Be Found
    "The State Targeted the Panthers Because We Were Socialists, Not Because We Were Armed" - Eddie Conway on Reality Asserts Itself (4/8)
    Democrats Have Options to Pursue Campaign Finance Reform
    The Bennis Plan: Here Is a Real Strategy for Dealing with ISIS
    Baltimore Cop Says Some Officers Are a Threat to the Communities They Serve
    The World Made A Much More Dangerous Place by the U.S. Since 9/11
    American Bombs Will Not Defeat ISIS
    Obama's Syria Plan Will Strengthen IS and Warlordism
    ISIS Wants the US Drawn into a Ground War
    New Iraqi Government Will Abide by U.S. Regional Goals
    COINTELPRO, Attack on the Panthers - Eddie Conway on Reality Asserts Itself (3/8)
    Federal Reserve Data Shows Growing Wealth Gap Based on Race
    Is The Anti-ISIS Campaign Attempting to Renew War Against Assad?
    Putting Off Immigration Reform May Backfire on Democrats
    Moments of Radicalization - Eddie Conway on Reality Asserts Itself (2/8)
    US-Israel Pressure Palestine Not to Join the ICC
    Ferguson Poet Asks Police to Think
    Ecuador to Adopt Digital Currency
    44 Years in Prison, Still a Revolutionary - Eddie Conway on Reality Asserts Itself (1/8)
    The Role of Russia and NATO in Ukraine's Civil War
    Better Oversight and Less Drilling Needed to Protect the Gulf
    NY Bank's Alleged Redlining Has Roots in Government Practice
    100+ Arrested as Fast-Food Workers Escalate 'The Fight For $15'
    What's in the Ground Must Stay in the Ground
    Civil Rights Probe of Ferguson Police Misses the Mark
    Global Expansion of Fossil Fuel Transport, Drilling Underway as UN Climate Summit Approaches
    Pillaging the Public Treasury - David Cay Johnston on Reality Asserts Itself (4/4)

    RealNewsNetwork.com, Real News Network, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of IWT.TV inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and Real News Network.

    All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network.  Click here for more

    Problems with this site? Please let us know

    Linux VPS Hosting by Star Dot Hosting