Well Grounded: Spending and Taxes

Ohioans Found Common Ground on Spending and Taxes. Can Congress Do The Same?

For too long, our leaders have been frozen in shouting-match politics that make it seem impossible to spend wisely, tax fairly, cut the deficit, and reduce the national debt.

Americans know better.

Common Ground Solutions recently joined with the nonpartisan organization Voice of the People to see if Ohioans could find common ground on spending and revenue issues, and on ways to address the growing deficit.

We began with a unique, interactive survey of over 800 Ohioans. They heard both sides of the issues in debates over the federal budget. Then they made their own decisions about dozens of spending priorities and ways to raise revenue.

Finally, in collaboration with the Cleveland Plain Dealer and Cleveland.com, we brought people together to discuss these issues face to face.

They found common ground.

  • Republicans and Democrats found ways to cut at least $57 billion from the federal budget, from programs ranging from defense spending to agricultural subsidies. They agreed on ways to raise over $150 billion in annual revenue, through taxes on financial transactions and higher tax rates for top income earners.

In the process, both Democrats and Republicans cut the annual deficit — currently over $600 billion per year — by more than $200 billion.

Our citizens know what too many of our leaders have forgotten: if we start talking to each other again, civilly and seriously, we can find common ground. Click here to read news coverage of these events.