A Tale of Two Visions

A day in the life of progressive and conservative priorities.

A Day In The Life Of Progressive And Conservative Priorities

Today we saw snapshots of two very different visions for our country — two very different sets of priorities on how to help it get ahead.

On the one hand, this afternoon the Center for American Progress hosted Attorney General Eric Holder at an event recognizing the one year anniversary of the White House’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative. On the other, details of the anti-working families proposals in the House GOP budget continue to emerge. These two cases exemplify the stark contrast between the progressive vision for strengthening America and giving everyone an opportunity to succeed, and the conservative vision in which the wealthiest and corporations benefit, low- and middle-income families lose, and inequality gets even worse.

My Brother’s Keeper is an initiative launched by the White House in conjunction with cities, towns, businesses and foundations to address opportunity gaps faced by young men of color. “The fundamental idea behind this initiative,” Attorney General Holder said today, “is that every child in America should have the opportunity to grow, to succeed, and to contribute to their community and their country.” My Brother’s Keeper cuts across a diverse and complex set of of issues: education, poverty, health, the criminal justice system, racial bias, and more. But at it’s core, it is an example of a bold, inclusive initiative working to expand economic opportunity for some of the Americans that need it the most.

In contrast to this, we have the House GOP budget: a road map of what conservatives want to accomplish. Despite claims that the GOP is focusing on middle and working class Americans, House Republicans include major cuts to programs like Medicaid and nutrition assistance that are essential in helping people escape poverty. Their budget would double the number of uninsured Americans by promising to repeal the Affordable Care Act yet again — even while they offer empty promises to come up with a “fix”. All this while giving tax cuts that benefit the wealthy and corporations; a choice that we know only makes rich even richer and increases inequality.

The Senate GOP Budget, released today, offers little different; it balances the budget on the backs of working class Americans, and uses sneaky accounting gimmicks to do so. Check out a more detailed analysis of the budgets from CAP here.

BOTTOM LINE: Through My Brother’s Keeper, community leaders around the country are taking steps to help some of our most vulnerable citizens escape hardship and injustice, and discover an opportunity to get ahead. And at the same time, Congressional Republicans, while rhetorically trying to address inequality, continue to push the same old policies that we know in reality only increase it.

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