News Release

Hey Supercommittee: Potential $824 Billion * Tax Wall St. * Cut the Military * Tax Pollution

JOHN CAVANAGH, SARAH ANDERSON, via Lacy MacAuley, lacy at ips-dc.org,
Cavanagh and Anderson are lead authors of a new report from the Institute for Policy Studies titled “America Isn’t Broke: How to Pay for the Crisis While Making the Country More Equitable, Green, and Secure.” The report “lays out a plan for reform that amounts to $824 billion in potential revenue per year. The reforms listed in the report would generate seven times the total savings the supercommittee was tasked with identifying in their deficit reduction plan.” The report recommends:

* “Revenues that advance a more equitable society: New taxes on Wall Street, corporations, and individuals could, if rigorously enforced, raise more than $375 billion a year, while reducing reckless speculative activity and creating a healthier society. Between 1935 and the late 1970s, progressive tax rates and investments in infrastructure, education, and housing expanded the middle class and served as a foundation for decades of broadly shared prosperity. Today, opinion polls indicate widespread renewed support for proposals to increase taxes on millionaires, make Wall Street pay its fair share, and close corporate tax loopholes.

* “Expenditure cuts that would make the United States and the world more secure: The Pentagon consumes more than half of U.S. federal discretionary spending, much of it on things that do not make us safer. While some jobs rely on this spending, a study by economists at the University of Massachusetts has shown that the military budget is a poor job creator compared to other forms of federal spending. Whereas $1 billion devoted to military production creates approximately 11,000 jobs, the same amount invested in clean energy creates about 17,000 jobs; in health care, 19,000 jobs; and in education, 29,000 jobs. We identify three areas where a total of $252 billion in cuts can be made to free up funds for job creation without risk to our national security. They are:

“End the war in Afghanistan as we end the war in Iraq;
“Reduce the sprawling network of overseas U.S. military bases; and
“Eliminate programs that are obsolete and/or wasteful. All three of these goals are supported by the
majority of Americans.”

* Revenue increases and subsidy cuts that will create a cleaner environment: “The Obama administration has promised to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies and yet U.S. taxpayers are still spending tens of billions of dollars per year on handouts to giant oil and other energy firms. We recommend eliminating this corporate welfare and introducing new taxes on pollution that could generate an estimated $197 billion per year in revenue.”

Anderson also just wrote a piece titled “Occupy the Budget” based on the report.