We Won’t Pay for Their Budget Crisis
Join us on Friday, November 9 at 3 p.m. at Pritzker Park (corner of State and Van Buren) to let our elected officials know that they must protect our interests in the upcoming “Budget Showdown”. They will be pressured to accept broad budget cuts to domestic programs in order to “fix the deficit”, but we must send the unequivocal message that cuts are unacceptable!
Please note the march will LEAVE PROMPTLY AT 3 P.M.
Wall Street and the right wing have manufactured this so-called budget crisis to convince ordinary Americans that we can no longer afford the investments in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. They’re also anxious to cut other domestic programs that protect the health, safety and futures for a majority of Americans.
The right wing cries wolf about deficit spending, but their policies created these annual deficits and our growing debt. How? By cutting taxes for the rich and big corporations and by deregulating the financial industry.
First, the Bush Tax Cuts, implemented in 2001, cost America $2.6 trillion in revenue between 2001 and 2010! The cuts were the primary reason public debt ballooned under the Bush Administration. For an overview of the cost of the Bush Tax Cuts, click here.
The Bush Tax Cuts reduced taxes on everyone, but disproportionately on the wealthy. For example, Americans earning $50,000 per year get a tax break of $1,000. American’s earning a million per year get a tax break of $143,000. Taxes on capital gains were also lowered and because the rich derive a disproportionate amount of their income from investments, they got an additional tax break.
Next, deregulation of the financial industry – exemplified by the repeal of Glass-Steagall – allowed Wall Street to make vast sums of money by selling bad mortgages to ordinary people and bundling these bad mortgages to sell as bad investments to pensioners and investors.
When the housing bubble burst and the economy crashed, the federal government lost billions of dollars in tax revenue.
Our elected officials decided we could afford to bail out Wall Street with our taxes, but have done very little to help ordinary Americans suffering from the consequences of Wall Street’s unethical and illegal behavior, leaving the unemployed, underwater homeowners, indebted students and state and local governments to fend for themselves. Now they want to cut our vital safety net, including Social Security and Medicare.
Meanwhile…our infrastructure is crumbling, college costs are soaring and student debt is at an all-time high, pensions for public employees are terribly underfunded, and we’re falling behind other nations in the race to develop a green energy sector.
While the right wing is determined to starve government and destroy the investments we’ve made in our future, it isn’t clear that our moderate elected officials have the backbone to stand up to this plan. Instead, we anticipate that many of our elected officials will try to strike a “grand bargain” with the right wing that raises taxes on the wealthy a little bit while also cutting the investments we hold dear.
Our demands are clear:
1 – Block Sequestration – no to austerity!
2 - Reject Simpson-Bowles or any other “Grand Bargain” that attempts to balance the budget on the backs of the poor, working people, the sick or the elderly – protect the social safety net, no cuts to Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid!
3 – Block the extension of the Bush Tax Cuts for the top 2% – it’s time for the rich to start paying their fair share!
4 – Support and fight for progressive sources of revenue – impose a Robin Hood Tax on Wall Street financial speculation, tax capital gains as normal income and close corporate tax loopholes!
We must send our elected official the uncompromising message that “We Won’t Pay for Your Crisis!” Instead, they must require the wealthy and big corporations to “Pay Their Fair Share”.