Monday, June 17, 2013

CAP Releases 250-Page Plan to Save the Economy

Another day, another think tank report on ways to "fix" the US economy.  The latest proposal comes from the liberal Center for American Progress (CAP).  Here is how the Washington Post describes it:

The 250-page report, “300 Million Engines of Growth,” appears to be the most comprehensive effort yet by a think tank of any ideology to bridge what was the most glaring economic policy divide of the 2012 election: the difference between how often candidates promised to restore middle-class prosperity and how rarely they offered detailed proposals to accomplish that.
CAP’s plan is filled with detailed proposals that loosely fit two broad themes — boosting the skills and earning power of middle-class workers and fostering an economic environment where good-paying jobs are plentiful.
The core of the plan is the notion that economies grow and thrive best when prosperity is broadly shared — a rebuke of the income and wealth inequality that the United States has seen widen over the past few decades and of the tax-cutting, deregulating policies that CAP economists blame for much of that widening.
Much of the plan is likely to be a conversation stopper for Republicans.
It includes a proposal to make it easier for workers to form labor unions, against which conservatives have fought hard. It also features a parade of new or increased taxes: on the carbon emissions from power plants, on financial transactions on Wall Street, on dividends and capital gains income, and even on the profits from the “big five oil companies.” CAP officials said they had not calculated the total amount of the tax increases contained in the plan.

The full CAP report in PDF can be read here.

The report was edited by Jennifer Erickson, Director of Competitiveness and Economic Growth at CAP, and Michael Ettlinger, who served as Vice President for Economic Policy at CAP.  Mr. Ettlinger is now Senior Director, Fiscal Policy Portfolio, at The Pew Charitable Trusts.  Contributions to the report came from a dozens of current and former experts and staffers at CAP.

NewsBusters said that the Washington Post (article mentioned/quoted above) gave "free publicity" to CAP's "tax-heavy" plan.

Business Insider's Josh Barro said that CAP's plan is "bad" and "micromanaged."  Here is what CAP's Jennifer Erickson had to say in response to Mr. Barro.

Center for American Progress (CAP) was recently ranked as the 30th best think tank in the world by the annual University of Pennsylvania think tank rankings.  It was ranked as the 11th best think tank in the US.  It was also ranked as the 2nd best think tank in the world in terms of best use of the Internet or social media.