Recent ‘fiscal cliff’ negotiations did some good: unemployment benefits and tax credits for low income people were extended. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid weren’t touched. For now. But many programs like these are in deep trouble as Congress is dominated by renewed deficit-cutting mania and risky political posturing around raising the debt ceiling.
While we should trim spending where we can (the Pentagon is one place!), austerity measures mostly hurt the poor and vulnerable, increase inequality, and slow down economic recovery. What we should be doing is creating jobs and stimulating the economy with needed projects like infrastructure
Sadly, enormous pressure will be on Congress to make big cuts in programs that address hunger and poverty, at home and abroad. Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security face the most serious threat since their creation. Please help your friends and congregation members grasp these realities and push for jobs and a Circle of Protection around aid for the poor and vulnerable.
For an expanded version of this advocacy alert ready for copying and sharing, go to: http://lutheran_peace.tripod.com/advocacyupdate_1-13.pdf
To learn more, see the following articles and websites:
Robert Borosage, Campaign for America's Future, on where we stand now:
Three blogs by Paul Krugman, NY Times: "Mostly Solved Deficit Problem"
"Perspective on the Deal," followed by "Conceder In Chief?" http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.
Washington Celebrates Solving Totally Unnecessary Crisis They Created:
Robert Reich on the threat to entitlements:
For updates and advocacy ideas please go to: www.circleofprotection.us www.sojo.net www.bread.org
For links and other help see: www.lutheranpeace.org or write firstname.lastname@example.org