Commonsense Budgeting for All

Currently, I am a member of the House Budge Committee.

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.


Congressional Budget Office

More on Commonsense Budgeting for All

March 19, 2015 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC– “Over the past 35 years, economic productivity has grown 80 percent and the cost of living has risen along with it. Over the same time, incomes of hardworking American families have remained flat.

December 4, 2012 Article

The American people deserve to know the potential fallout of the fiscal cliff battle

  • Roll Call | By Rep. Jan Schakowsky
  • Dec. 3, 2012, 7:19 p.m.

There has been a lot of talk lately about how to avert the so-called fiscal cliff. Now it's time to get specific – not just about numbers but about how the proposals would affect real people.

October 17, 2012 Press Release


The House Republican Budget would make a number of significant changes to Medicare, Medicaid, and numerous other programs that benefit seniors.  Their budget principles are simple:  Make seniors pay much more for much less while enriching private insurers and drug companies; and put greater financial burdens on seniors.