This week, the Senate summarily rejected House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's wayward budget proposal. Taking a serious shellacking for the proposal's plan to end Medicare, Republican lawmakers are now dogging Democrats to produce a budget of their own. "The Democrats campaigned for control of this chamber," said Budget Committee Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-AL). "They asked for the job. Let's see their budget." Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) joined in on Twitter to add "We're in a fiscal crisis, yet the #Dem ocrat led Senate has not passed a #budget in 748 days." But a responsible budget requires more than a slash-and-burn mentality driven more by politics than sound policy. To seriously reign in the deficit while promoting a strong and vibrant economic future, the government must pursue policies that avoid the extremes in cuts or tax raises and succeed in balancing the budget without doing so on the backs of the middle class. The Senate already opted out from considering President Obama's budget this week -- a plan, as Center For American Progress's Michael Ettlinger noted, made a start towards that path. This month at the Peterson Foundation's second annual Fiscal Summit , the Center For American Progress (CAP) offered its own budget plan that does more than balance the budget. Recognizing the important role in honoring public responsibilities, CAP's plan targets spending on investments that bolster economic growth, reform the tax code to reduce inequality that hurts prosperity, and effectively reign in health costs -- all to not only protect, but strengthen, American's middle class.
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