The United States can and should address debts and deficits. And there are sound plans to do so, including the "Balancing Act" advanced by Ellison and other members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus . That initiative rejects austerity and proposes a growth agenda based on tax fairness and investments in education and job creation.
That's not Simpson-Bowles, which Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman dismisses as "terrible" economics. That's responsible policy that avoids the "brutal cuts" of sequestration and the even more brutal cuts of full-fledged austerity.
"Almost $2 trillion has been cut over the past two years from teachers, firefighters, police officers, loans for college students, and infrastructure investments," the congressman says of the warped federal budget priorities proposed by austerity advocates. "The American people shouldn't continue to pay the price for massive tax breaks for millionaires and billions of dollars in subsidies to oil companies."
Meanwhile, Greg Kaufmann writes, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, or TANF, languishes.