Commonsense Budgeting for All

In 2010 I served on the President’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (also known as the Bowles-Simpson Commission).   I worked with a bipartisan group to examine the short- and long-term challenges in the federal budget and the many ways in which they can be addressed.  Ultimately, I opposed the plan offered by Co-Chairmen Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson because I believed it placed the burden too heavily on the seniors, the middle class, and those who aspire to it.  I offered my own plan and am continuing to work on proposing commonsense fiscal solutions.

We have to start by looking at how we got here.  The budget deficit was largely caused by Bush Administration policies – two unpaid-for wars, two unpaid-for tax cuts that disproportionately benefitted the wealthy, and a blind eye to Wall Street activities that led to a financial collapse and the worst recession since the Great Depression.  We should be solving the deficit problem by asking more from those who can afford to pay more, including millionaires and highly profitable corporations that ship jobs overseas; making smart cuts that eliminate waste but not opportunity; and protecting the vital investments that build the middle class and help those who are struggling.

Those are the principles that are reflected in the alternative I offered to the Bowles-Simpson plan.  It would create jobs, cut wasteful defense spending, raise revenues in a fair way and protect Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.  I have also introduced legislation that would build on my plan – the Emergency Jobs to Restore the American Dream Act, which would create over two million jobs, and the Fairness in Taxation Act, which would create new tax brackets for millionaires and billionaires. 

As a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, I was very involved in putting together the Budget for All, a proposal that sets forth a path to provide opportunity for all while putting our fiscal house back in order.  The CPC budget would provide more educational opportunities, expand access to health care and child care, create jobs and help small businesses.  To raise the revenues for those investments and to reduce the long-term debt, we would ask those who can afford it to pay more and eliminate tax incentives for those whose policies are hurting the vast majority of Americans – corporate outsourcers, Wall Street speculators, and Big Oil.  I am proud that both the Fairness in Taxation Act and the Emergency Jobs to Restore the American Dream Act were included within the CPC's Budget for All.

Legislation and Key Proposals I’ve Sponsored:

Emergency Jobs to Restore the American Dream Act – My bill would create 2.2 million jobs over two years.  The most straightforward way to get Americans back to work is simply by hiring them, and that is what my bill would do.  It would create jobs in areas critical to our communities and our economy – education, health care, law enforcement and community cleanup.  The President included parts of my bill – on building and repairing schools, jobs for youth, and putting teachers, firefighters, and police back to work – in his proposed American Jobs Act.  I also strongly support his bill and have cosponsored it in the House.

Fairness in Taxation Act – My bill would create new, higher tax brackets for millionaires and billionaires starting at 45% for income over $1 million and going up to 49% for income over $1 billion.  Those rates would also apply to capital gains and dividends for income over $1 million.  This legislation would raise more than $800 billion over 10 years and would help address our fiscal challenges while protecting our important priorities.

Schakowsky Deficit Reduction Plan

Budget for All 


“Bowles-Simpson: Less Than Meets the Eye”

Economic Policy Institute

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

House Budget Committee Democrats

Congressional Budget Office

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    repName Jan Schakowsky  
    helpWithFedAgencyAddress Chicago Office
    5533 N. Broadway
    Chicago, IL 60640
    district 9th District of Illinois  
    academyUSCitizenDate July 1, 2017  
    academyAgeDate July 1, 2017  
    academyApplicationDueDate October 20, 2017  
    repStateABBR IL  
    repDistrict 9  
    repState Illinois  
    repDistrictText 9th  
    SponsoredBills Sponsored Bills  
    CoSponsoredBills Co-Sponsored Bills  
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