Prevent Another Recession
In 2011, Congress enacted across-the-board budget
cuts to shrink the federal government deficit by $1.2 trillion over 10
years. This “sequester” will start in January, 2013. Federal spending will be
reduced by over $100 billion each year with the cuts evenly split between
military spending and non-military discretionary spending which includes safety
net programs and most core government functions such as education,
veterans’ medical care, low-income energy assistance, Head Start, environmental
protection, job training, housing, foreign aid, and national parks.
In addition, a number of tax cuts are scheduled to
expire at the end of 2012 that will increase taxes for most households. The
combination of the cuts in spending and rise in taxes will, according to the
nonpartisan and highly regarded Congressional Budget Office, cause a recession
in the first half of 2013.
Congress to change the 2013 budget. Don’t cause a recession: cut military
spending, not the safety net or core government functions, and end tax cuts for
the rich while preserving them for lower- and middle-income households.
To avoid a recession next year, Congress must cut less spending than is currently
scheduled and continue some tax cuts so
the deficit in 2013 does not fall so rapidly.
In recent years, Congress has repeatedly cut funding for non-military discretionary
programs including safety
net programs and core government functions. Under the sequester next year, these programs are scheduled for even more cuts; these must be halted. On the
other hand, military spending has been rising rapidly, up by nearly 50% over
the past decade. Next year’s planned cuts including the “sequester” would
reduce military expenditures to 2007’s level, a year when the U.S. was actively
fighting two wars which are now winding down.
cuts: The people who most need their tax cuts continued beyond
the end of this year are those with lower and middle incomes, many of whom have
seen their incomes stagnate for 30 years. To help them, the payroll tax cut
should be extended and income tax cuts should be maintained for lower- and
middle-income households. However the income tax cuts must be ended for wealthy
and upper-income people to bring in badly needed revenue.
Congress to change the 2013 budget. Don’t cause a recession.
- Cut military spending, not the
safety net or core government functions.
- End tax cuts for the rich while
preserving them for lower- and middle-income households.
Our economic arrangements with each other
should help the human community to flourish. At the root of
our economic system must be fairness and justice. But the growing economic
divide between rich and poor, and the lack of opportunity for all people to
improve their lives is weakening the moral, social, and economic fabric of our
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