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Laying a Foundation for America's Future: Progressive Deficit Reduction Proposals Open Access

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The United States government's total debt is nearly $12.8 trillion. In 1974, total U.S. government debt was $484 billion. The annual budget deficit for 1974 was $7.2 billion. The FY 2011 federal budget has an annual on-budget deficit of $1.154 trillion, or 7.0% of GDP, a staggering number by any comparison. With the election of President Reagan, a conservative revolution swept into Congress ushering in conservative budgetary policies of tax cuts and reduced domestic, nondefense spending. Throughout this time, record deficits continued grow due. Congress has legislated various remedies to the institutionalization of federal budget deficits that have offered minimal control of the soaring shortfalls. Each deficit reduction attempt was done through discretionary, nondefense cuts and tax increases. Progressive ideals were immediately discarded. A deficit reduction plan can lay the foundation for America's future by incorporating progressive policy options. Laying a Foundation for America's Future: Progressive Deficit Reduction Proposals explores the federal budget process as detailed in the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Act of 1974, details how the nation acquired the record-setting pace of annual budget deficits, identifies what progressive ideals will lay a foundation for America's future, and ultimately demonstrates that deficit reduction can be done by selecting deficit reduction proposals that adhere to those progressive ideals. The progressive deficit reduction proposal reduces the deficit by $4.462199 trillion over ten years, split evenly in spending cuts or increases and tax increases or cuts while incorporating progressive ideals that will lay the foundation for America's future. This proposal demonstrates that there is a progressive manner in which meaningful deficit reduction can be done while targeting both domestic spending cuts and tax increases. Throughout this exercise, the progressive proposal includes tax cuts for the middle class and increases in spending on education. It offers several solutions to fixing the ailing and bankrupt entitlement programs of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. This is an exercise in demonstrating that progressive options can and must be included in future deficit reduction proposals, as those ideals will lay the foundation for future generations.

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