The media ignores The People’s Budget

April 14, 2011 | By | 5 Replies More

The “People’s Budget has been proposed by the 80 member Congressional Progressive Caucus, the largest caucus within the U.S. House of Representatives. The co-chair, of that caucus, Democratic Representative Raúl Grijalva of Arizona, appeared on Democracy Now, perplexed that his budget, which is well supported by large numbers of Americans, is being ignored by the mainstream media.

We cut military spending in a significant way. The key to that, getting us out of Afghanistan and out of Iraq. And we take care—we deal with healthcare by reintroducing the public option, which could save up to $68 billion a year from providing a competitive choice for the American people. We didn’t do this on a lark. We have tracked every public opinion poll. And the American people want gas and oil subsidies to be cut. They want the rich and the corporations to pay taxes. They want military spending cut. And so, as we listen to the American people, our budget reflects that listening and really deserves a voice and deserves some attention.

Let’s mark this lack of attention to a populist budget another exhibit demonstrating the the national media caters strongly to big businesses that purchase advertising and to the affluent customers to whom those ads are often aimed. Can you imagine the outcome of the following question if put on a national referendum: “Should the United States remove its military from Iraq and Afghanistan and redirect the more than $100 billion of dollars we are spending in countries each year to benefit Americans at home?” Or how about this one: “Should the United States continue paying gas and oil companies tens of billion dollars in tax subsidies?”

What would large for profit businesses do to stop that vote? Send out hundreds of millions of lobbyists to yap at us on our front porches?


Category: Corruption, Economy, Politics, populism

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (5)

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  1. Zoevinly says:

    The corporations don't need to come to our porches. They buy television spots!

  2. Erich Vieth says:

    Here's an excellent resource for learning more about The People's Budget. Here are the main components:

    * Reduces unemployment—and thus the deficit—through extensive investment in infrastructure, clean energy, transportation and education;

    * Ends almost all the Bush tax cuts, creates new tax brackets for millionaires and new fees on Wall Street;

    * Full American military withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan, along with other reductions in military spending;

    * Ends subsidies for non-renewable energy;

    * Lowers health care costs through a public option and negotiating Rx payments with pharmaceutical companies;

    * Raises the taxable maximum on Social Security.

  3. Erich Vieth says:

    Rachel Maddow criticizes mainstream media non-coverage of the proposed Paul Ryan Budget. Paul and his cronies are getting heckled by REAL grass roots citizens (these are not astroturf organized groups) back home. But where are the mainstream media cameras ("the beltway press") when the citizens savage the Republicans who voted for Paul Ryan's vote? They are nowhere to be seen, except through citizen camcorders, even though Ryan's proposal would add $6 trillion to the national debt. Incidentally, Obama's proposed budget would add $7 trillion in debt.

    At the nine minute mark, Rachel applauds the People's Budget, and asks why the mainstream press is ignoring it, given its many merits and that fact that real-life people approve of it. Her guest, Washington Post Columnist Matt Miller, agrees.

    According to Miller's recent article ("The Shining" – national debt edition), here's what the mass media should be shouting over and over: “The House Republican budget adds $6 trillion to the debt in the next decade yet the GOP is balking at raising the debt limit. The House Republican budget adds $6 trillion to the debt in the next decade yet the GOP is balking at raising the debt limit.”

  4. Erich Vieth says:

    Here are more details on the People's Budget from Occasional Planet.

  5. Erich Vieth says:

    From The Nation:

    "Fortunately, the eighty-three members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) are. On April 14, they introduced a “People’s Budget” as an alternative to President Obama’s center-right and Representative Ryan’s far-right proposals. The People’s Budget is exactly what a robust populist agenda should look like. It protects the social safety net, promotes a progressive tax policy, reintroduces a public option for healthcare and makes significant cuts to the Pentagon by bringing our troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan. It makes millionaires, billionaires and corporations pay their fair share while protecting the poor and middle class. Plus, it actually generates a budget surplus by 2021, according to CPC co-chair Representative Raúl Grijalva.

    But even though the CPC is the largest Democratic caucus in Congress, its People’s Budget was ignored by establishment Democrats and the mainstream media. And it was snidely dismissed by pundits like the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank, who didn’t say much about its policies but seemed to have a beef with the word “people” because it reminds him of China."

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