Senate Democrats have officially rolled out their plan to replace the so-called “sequester,” the set of spending cuts scheduled for March that were set in motion by the deal that raised the debt ceiling in 2011. House Republicans have yet to roll out a new plan of their own to replace the sequester, instead pointing to a sequester replacement bill that they passed in the last Congress (that they have no plans to vote on again). The Congressional Progressive Caucus has also proposed a replacement for the sequester.
Here’s a comparison of the three plans::
|House Republican Plan||Senate Democratic plan||Congressional Progressive Caucus Plan|
|Replaces the sequester with only domestic spending cuts.||Replaces the sequester with $110 billion in deficit reduction, equally split between spending cuts and revenue.||Replaces the sequester with $960 billion in new revenue, $278 billion in defense cuts, and invests in new job creation measures.|
|Includes no new revenue. Denies the Child Tax Credit to parents who are undocumented immigrants.||Includes $55 billion in revenue, split between: a 30 percent minimum tax on millionaires (the Buffett rule), repealing a tax loophole for oil companies, and eliminating the ability of corporations to deduct the cost of moving jobs overseas.||Reinstates the Making Work Pay tax credit. Ends the carried interest loophole that benefits wealthy money managers, closes tax loopholes that encourage corporations to send profits to offshore tax havens, cuts oil subsidies, closes loopholes that benefit buyers of private jets and yachts, and closes loopholes in the estate tax.|
|Voids defense cuts.||Includes $27.5 billion in cuts to defense spending.||Includes $278 billion in cuts to defense spending.|
|Cuts domestic spending via: cutting food stamps, Medicaid, and the social services block grant (which, among other things, funds Meals on Wheels).||Cuts domestic spending via ending direct agriculture subsidies, “which are currently provided regardless of yields, prices, or farm income.”||Invests $160 billion in infrastructure.|
House Democrats have also released a plan largely in line with the Senate Democrats’ version. The sequester itself, meanwhile, would devastate several important programs that have already been hurt by budget cuts.
Already, the deficit reduction achieved since 2010 (which is hampering economic growth and hurting job creation) has been primarily achieved through spending cuts. In fact, just one-quarter of it has come through new revenue. Even adopting the Senate Democrats plan would mean that overall deficit reduction is tilted heavily towards spending cuts. Only the CPC’s plan would result in deficit reduction having been achieved through equal parts spending cuts and new revenue. The CPC plan is also the only one acknowledging that job creation, not the deficit, is the country’s most pressing problem.