Please Tell Your Senators to Vote Against Extreme Budget Proposals
Very soon, the Senate will vote on one or more dangerously bad budget proposals.
Please take a moment to tell both your Senators to vote NO.
These budgets are much more about shrinking government and cutting upper-income taxes than about reducing the deficit. They hurt low- and moderate-income people, cost millions of jobs, threaten our fragile economic recovery, leave millions (including seniors) without vital medical coverage, and close off opportunities for our children to share in future economic growth.
The bad budgets that are expected on the Senate floor:
• The House-passed Budget Resolution: Over 10 years, it would slash $4.3 trillion in needed services, about two-thirds of which help low-income people. At the same time, it makes net tax cuts worth $4.2 trillion almost exclusively targeted to the top 5 percent, leaving relatively little for deficit reduction. (Note the word "net" - actually, there are $6.7 trillion in tax cuts, with a totally unspecified reduction in other tax breaks said to offset $2.5 trillion of the cost.) This budget proposal would set rigid limits on Medicaid and food stamps/SNAP, resulting in a 35 percent cut for Medicaid by 2022 and an almost 20 percent cut in food stamps. Starting in the second decade, the House budget would turn Medicare into a voucher, doubling the burden of payment for its beneficiaries. Far from helping the economy, this plan would cause the loss of 2.2 million jobs over the next two years.
Here's an example of winners and losers in the House Budget Resolution: Just one of the new tax cuts benefiting high-earners would give a $1.64 million annual tax cut to a household earning $8.5 million. But the cuts in food stamps/SNAP would take away $147 a month from a low-income family of four. And a family with two children with a parent working full-time at the minimum wage would lose about $1,500 a year from a cut in the Child Tax Credit.
• Senator Pat Toomey's budget proposal: Senator Toomey (R-PA) has drafted a budget that cuts even more than the House plan (spending 3 percent less over 10 years). It is less specific than the House budget, but would also restrict Medicaid spending, and would target other programs like food stamps/SNAP, Unemployment Insurance, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families for cuts (such programs would be cut back to 2007 levels by 2014). The plan outline speaks of "reform of welfare programs" by setting fixed annual spending caps. Domestic programs requiring annual appropriations (such as education, housing, job training, and many social services) would be slashed back to FY 2006 levels, a deeper cut than the House budget proposes, with spending reduced from $515.1 billion in FY 2011 (this year) to $435 billion in FY 2012. This plan also reduces tax rates for the wealthiest and for corporations, with the stated goal of remaining revenue neutral (however, the "special tax breaks" that would be eliminated to pay for rate reductions are unspecified). For more information about the Toomey budget plan, click here.
For an analysis of the Toomey budget from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, click here.
When so much is at stake, please don't let your Senators say that no one cared enough to contact them. Votes may be taken as early as Tuesday or Wednesday of this week - don't delay!