Sometimes when I open the newspaper, I feel like throwing it right back out to the curb. (No disrespect intended to the curb.) Last week, for example, there was the terrible new census data report that nearly one in six Americans is living in poverty, and one in four babies born in America right now goes home to a family living in poverty.(1)
This is a national emergency!
And yet, we're hearing the same old mantra from Congress. On Thursday, Speaker Boehner reiterated that Congress should reduce our nation's deficit solely by cutting spending on family economic security programs like Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security thereby ruling out any alternative solutions like raising taxes on millionaires and billionaires or closing tax loopholes for big corporations.(2)
We must tell Speaker Boehner, the Super Committee members, and all of Congress that America's families are getting fed up. Deficit solutions must create jobs, protect vital programs for children and families, cut wasteful defense spending, and make millionaires and corporations pay their fair share in taxes!
It's clear from the Census data that our nation's families are suffering from the economic downturn, while corporate profits soared to a record high last year and the gap between the rich and poor continues to widen. (3) This trajectory isn't good for anyone in the long term. America's small businesses, the engine of job growth, won't hire workers until they are confident that there will be strong consumer demand for their products. But Americans won't spend if they don't feel they have some income and job security.
What's happening now with the "Super Committee"?
As a result of the debt ceiling deal in August, Congress agreed to $1 trillion in cuts to federal spending. Now, a Congressional "Super Committee" is working to find ways to reduce the deficit by an additional $1.5 billion dollars and must submit their recommendations by November 23rd. They are meeting right now to decide what their recommendations will be. It is critically important for our nation's families to weigh in!
Corporate lobbyists are flooding into Washington right now to make sure their interests are protected in the Super Committee's recommendations because they know that if the choice is left up to the American people, family friendly policies would prevail. Americans by a large margin say "take away tax breaks from millionaires before you cut programs for families." In fact, in a poll just this week, cutting Medicaid as a way to reduce the deficit was opposed by 76 percent of Americans. (4)
When we make our voices heard, together we are a powerful force!
Just this past summer, when Medicaid was in danger of being dismantled in the debt ceiling negotiations, MomsRising raised the voices of moms whose disabled children rely on Medicaid, moms whose elderly parents depend of Medicaid for their long term care, and moms who themselves needed Medicaid when they were facing down cancer and found themselves without adequate health insurance. Through their voices and the voices of so many others, we made sure that Medicaid was among the programs protected in the event that the Super Committee cannot come to agreement and automatic cuts go into effect. You made a critical difference! (5)
And now it's time to rise up again! The decisions that are being made right now will define the direction of our country for years to come. Tell the Super Committee members and all of Congress that how we handle this recession is a test of who we are as a people and speaks volumes about who we are as a nation. Deficit solutions must create jobs, protect vital programs for children and families, cut wasteful defense spending, and make millionaires and corporations pay their fair share of taxes!
Thank you for your support of America's families!
--Donna, Kristin, Claire, Nanette, Ashley, Sarah, and the MomsRising Team
P.S. If you or your family has been impacted by the recession, please share your experience here: http://www.momsrising.org/member_stories/topic/has-your-family-been-impa...
(1) "Nearly one in six in poverty in the U.S.; children hit hard, Census says," Washington Post, Michael A. Fletcher, Sept. 13, 2011;
"To Grow the Economy, We Must Pay Attention to Child Poverty," Huffington Post, Danielle Ewen, Sept. 13, 2011;
Statement: President, Robert Greenstein, President, on Census' 2010 Poverty, Income and Health Insurance Data, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Sept. 13, 2011
(2) "Boehner says no new taxes for debt panel," Washington Post, Paul Kane and Rosalind Helderman, Sept. 15, 2011
"Question for Tonight's GOP Debate: Why Do Corporations Making Record Profits Need Another Tax Break?" Think Progress, Pat Garofalo, Sept. 7, 2011
(4) Poll: Cutting Medicaid is the least popular option for deficit reduction, Think Progress, Igor Volsky, Sept. 14, 2011
(5) "Your Voice Makes a Difference in Putting America Back to Work," MomsRising blog, Jon Carson, Sept. 8, 2011