By Reps. Raúl Grijalva, Mike Honda and Lynn Woolsey
Special to Roll Call
May 3, 2011, Midnight
The country needs a jobs plan, and the People’s Budget is a plan that will work. That’s why it’s already been endorsed by experts such as Jeffrey Sachs, Ph.D., of Columbia University, who wrote in a recent Huffington Post opinion piece that our budget is “humane, responsible, and most of all sensible, reflecting the true values of the American people and the real needs of the floundering economy.” Sachs doesn’t use these words lightly — the reason he’s been named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People twice is because he takes ideas seriously and means what he says.
So do we, and so should Rep. Ryan. His proposal has, curiously, been granted more credibility the more deeply it tears at the fabric of our nation. But demanding more sacrifice from a nation already reeling from a brutal recession isn’t a sign of seriousness or responsibility.
It’s time we give at least equal weight to a plan that takes job creation seriously, reflects the will of the American people and generates a government surplus in 10 years. According to a Gallup poll published March 31, the top two public preferences for improving the economy are “Stop sending jobs overseas” and “Create more infrastructure work.” Our budget does more than any other plan out there — we even create a new infrastructure investment bank so we can plan wisely for the new economy.
Republicans have rejected the growth model the American people strongly prefer. Our budget embraces it. There’s no reason to hold our noses and vote for the Ryan proposal in the name of responsibility — it is a deeply irresponsible document. The People’s Budget, in comparison, speaks for itself: a surplus in 10 years, an end to the wars that have drained our Treasury, a fairer and more transparent tax code and bold investments in job creation.
This conversation will continue long after Congress moves on from the budget vote. Our budget is a blueprint for American prosperity and fiscal responsibility. It is the People’s Budget because it embraces the values and supports the interests of the American people.
Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) is co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.) sits on the House Budget Committee. Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) sits on the Education and Workforce Committee.