Budget proposals reflect lawmakers’ choices and priorities. Last week House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan released his proposal that would balance the deficit on the backs of the middle class and federal employees.
This week a group of House lawmakers led by House Budget Committee Ranking Member Chris Van Hollen released their own budget proposal that offers stark differences from the plan proposed by Ryan.
The Van Hollen budget recognizes the importance of public services provided to the American people. Here are seven ways the Van Hollen budget promotes the work of the federal government and its workers and protects the middle class:
- The Van Hollen budget eliminates the reckless, sequestration cuts that resulted in furloughs of federal employees and prevent agencies from providing services to the American people. Sequestration should be replaced by a balanced budget plan that asks everyone to pay their fair share.
- The Van Hollen budget would NOT cut federal pay and benefits.
- It would NOT cut the federal workforce and force federal employees to do the work of three people.
- It creates more jobs by investing in infrastructure, education, research and development.
- It protects Medicare, Medicaid, and other social safety net programs.
- It raises the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10, thereby putting more money into the hands of consumers, boosting the economy.
- It rejects Paul Ryan’s plan to reduce the top tax rate on the wealthy from 39.6% to 25% -- a huge tax cut averaging $400,000 a year for millionaires. The Van Hollen budget would instead expand low- and middle-income tax incentives for work and school and low-income childless workers.