Feb 1, 2013
In the next weeks, many crucial programs that help those most in need will be significantly affected by Washington, DC politics.
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 sequestration – deep, automatic, across the board spending cuts.
Leaders in both parties are skeptical that Congress will be able to come to agreement on a deal that would avert such deep cuts. Economic recovery and a lot of important programs will be at risk if the sequester happens – or if several widely-supported efforts to avoid it are approved. 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-2-13.pdf
To learn more, see the following articles and websites:
2013 Sequestration Likely To Happen Despite Ominous GDP Report
The Idiocy of Sequestration