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Durbin: Don’t Bargain Away Our Future

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Join our Planning Meeting: Sunday, Dec. 2
2-5 p.m. at Grace Place (637 S. Dearborn, Chicago)
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Bring at least 5 people & your banner

Thurs, December 6, 2012 at Noon

Federal Plaza, Adams & Dearborn

Demand Durbin protect programs for elderly, vets, disabled,

unemployed, and children.

Right now our elected officials are haggling over a budget deal to reduce the federal deficit. It sounds admirable – but their proposal would devastate poor and middle-class people alike.

What’s at stake? Senator Durbin supports a “Grand Bargain” – the Simpson-Bowles plan – that raises Social Security eligibility to age 67 and slashes its Cost of Living Adjustment. These cuts will hurt the elderly, veterans and the disabled at a time when our communities are already struggling, and in the long run gut benefits for the most popular – and critical – program in our nation’s history.

That’s not all. Durbin’s “Grand Bargain” will cut Medicare, Medicaid, veterans’ healthcare, food stamps, nutritional support for poor women and children, grants for low-income college students and more. Deep cuts to government spending will wipe out the jobs of hundreds of thousands of critical front-line public workers, reduce funding to social service agencies, and devastate the economy.

Why is the ‘Grand Bargain’ bad? Taxes on the wealthy and corporations are at historic lows – and Durbin’s plan would reduce them still further – while income inequality is at its highest level since the 1920’s. It is economically irresponsible to reduce the deficit by cutting programs that protect and uplift ordinary Americans. 350 respected economists say these cuts will push us back into a depression.

Isn’t Senator Durbin on our side? While Senator Durbin is often an ally on public policy issues, he’s not this time. He was one of the “Gang of Six” that promoted a Simpson-Bowles style “Grand Bargain” – and today, he’s in the media and back-room meetings promoting a deal that includes these cuts.

Our coalition met twice with Durbin in 2012, in May and again in August, to urge him to oppose cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other vital programs. Both times, he refused!  29 U.S. Senators have called on Durbin to pledge not to cut these programs – a pledge he’s refused to sign.

We need a “Fair Deal” that raises revenue from those who can afford to pay more and protects programs that serve the rest of us. And we need to force Senator Durbin to support this Fair Deal instead of a growing giveaway to the entitled.

There is no time to waste. Congress will try to make a deal before the holiday recess. We must ACT NOW to demand that Senator Durbin support a budget that won’t devastate our seniors, the sick and disabled, the poor and our nation’s children, while simultaneously weakening the entire economy.

Senator Durbin has said publicly that he’s willing to cut New Deal

and vital other domestic programs for the elderly, poor and sick:

PBS Newshour: November 14, 2012

Senator Durbin: “I was on the Bowles-Simpson Commission. I voted for it…

“I know to reach 4 or 5 trillion in deficit reduction you need to put everything on the table, not just tax increases for the wealthy, that’s an important piece of it, but you need much more.”

CNN OutFront: November 15, 2012

Erin Burnett asks Durbin, “…Cuts have to be made to entitlement programs. That’s part of Simpson-Bowles. Are we going to be able to get that done in time?” Durbin replies, “I think we can. We’ve already cut 1.1 trillion in spending in the last two years, and that should be part of our total, but we have to go beyond that.”

Our coalition includes: IIRON; SOUL/Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation;

Lakeview Action Coalition; Northside P.O.W.E.R.; Illinois Peoples Action; Jane Addams Senior Caucus.

Contact us! | www.iiron.org | facebook.com/iironaction | kristi@iiron.org | http://bit.ly/Durbinville | Labor donated.