A Better Way to Balance the Budget

As Washington hurtles closer to a government shutdown, extremist proposals that would benefit the rich and deepen the suffering of the poorest Americans are becoming alarmingly common. At the Institute for Policy Studies, we’re offering far more practical prescriptions for narrowing the nation’s deficit.

In a report released today, IPS scholar Chuck Collins calls for reversing tax giveaways to the super-rich and the nation’s largest corporations. He and his co-authors have found a way to boost revenue by $4 trillion within a decade by closing overseas tax havens, adding new tax brackets for $1 million plus income households, and introducing a modest financial transaction tax.

We’re also calling for bold budget cuts. As John Feffer, co-director of our Foreign Policy In Focus project explains, “With the U.S. government in a budget crisis, it’s urgent that we move from military deeds to human needs.” And check out the IPS blog for our suggestions on where the Federal Budget can be trimmed.

Next Tuesday, people in more than 35 countries, as well as dozens of other cities throughout the United States will participate in the first Global Day of Action on Military Spending. See if there’s an event near you to join on April 12.

This global action will come one day after the release of the 2010 figures for global military expenditures by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. In 2009, the world spent more than $1.5 trillion on the military, with the United States responsible for nearly half of all expenditures.

Our nation isn’t financially broke, it’s morally broke. Instead of seeking creative ways to put the United States on solid financial footing, our lawmakers are engaged in a shutdown of ideas. Our proposals provide a progressive guide for increasing revenue and making smart cuts.