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Posts Tagged 'super committee'

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Super Committee Sleight of Hand

The Congressional Super Committee has just over a week to present its deficit reduction plan.  Incredibly, it appears any illusion of finding a proposal with “shared sacrifices” or a “balanced approach is just that…an illusion.  So far, the only agreement that has support from members of both parties is that middle-class Americans will face benefit cuts immediately.  When it comes to tax loopholes for corporations and tax breaks for the wealthy it appears some on the super committee would rather pass that buck on to yet another committee(s) to worry about sometime next year. Simply put…the middle-class sacrifices again.  The wealthy are let off the hook again.

With a little over a week left to reach a deal, members of the Congressional deficit reduction panel are looking for an escape hatch that would let them strike an accord on revenue levels but delay until next year tough decisions about exactly how to raise taxes. “There could be a two-step process that would hopefully give us pro-growth tax reform,” Representative Jeb Hensarling of Texas, the top Republican on the panel, said Sunday on the CNN program “State of the Union.” Deficit Panel Seeks to Defer Details on Raising Taxes- New York Times
What are those “pro-growth” tax reforms Super Committee members want the tax writing committees in Congress to consider, next year? A permanent tax cut for the wealthy, even below the Bush tax cut rate, higher taxes for low- and middle-income taxpayers, and taking revenues off the table for future deficit reduction.
…the Republican proposal would significantly shift tax burdens from high-income to lower- and middle-income taxpayers.  High-income taxpayers would benefit enormously from the proposed cut in tax rates, while lower- and middle-income taxpayers would suffer disproportionately from the proposed reductions in tax expenditures, since the plan shields the main tax expenditure for the highest-income Americans — the highly preferential treatment of capital gains and dividend income. Not a First Step Toward Balanced Deficit Reduction- Center for Budget and Policy Priorities
This Super Committee sleight of hand would guarantee even more sacrifice will made by those who can least afford it yet any possible sacrifice by the nation’s wealthiest is deferred, and in this political climate, likely ignored.  If you have any doubt about the chances that true tax reform would even be considered next year, rest assured, those chances are virtually nil.  You don’t have to believe us.  Even the author of the no tax pledge isn’t worried:
Grover G. Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform, whose antitax pledge has been signed by most Republicans in Congress, said in an interview, “I am not losing any sleep” over the Republicans’ latest proposal. Mr. Norquist said he was confident that, “at the end of the day, the Republican House will not pass a tax increase." “As a face-saving measure,” Mr. Norquist said, the deficit reduction panel “could give lots of instructions to the tax-writing committees.” In complying with those instructions, he said, the House and the Senate could pass very different bills.
National Committee President/CEO, Max Richtman, has urged seniors to get involved nowWrite, call or use Facebook and Twitter to contact their Members of Congress.
“Some members of the Congressional Super Committee apparently believe they’ve found a way to dodge their full responsibilities and continue Washington’s failed fiscal policies by passing more benefit cuts for the middle class this year but delaying tax reform until next year. Super Committee members of both parties appear eager to cut billions from Medicare, and change the COLA formula to cut Social Security benefits for all current and future beneficiaries. Yet, incredibly, some on the Super Committee are still looking for ways to protect the wealthy from paying their fair share toward deficit reduction. If the Super Committee employs this escape hatch political strategy then their mythology of “shared sacrifice” and “balanced approached” will finally be laid bare for all to see.  America’s middle class will be offered up as sacrificial lambs at the altar of deficit reduction. This Super Committee sleight of hand would guarantee that wealth and politics will trump the income and health security of America’s seniors, both now and in the future. Outside of the Beltway, the debate is over. Over 70% of the American people of all ages and political stripes soundly rejected the idea that cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid should be part of a deficit reduction package and these citizens have said they’ll hold Congress accountable for policies which continue to target the middle-class and poor.” Max Richtman, President/CEO

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Congress Should Reject Benefit Cuts Whether or Not GOP Agrees to New Revenue

Anger at Potential Cuts Boiling Over Outside Beltway

Responding to press reports that the Congressional “Super Committee” is considering benefit cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, Max Richtman, President/CEO of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (NCPSSM) called on Congress today to reject cutting benefits to middle-class and poor Americans regardless of whether the GOP agrees to new government revenue. The “Super Committee” is scheduled to report its proposal to cut the deficit by November 23.
 “The people who talk about ‘shared sacrifice’ pretend that all Americans sit down at the deficit debate table on an equal footing. The fact is the incomes of middle-class workers have stagnated for three decades, and those of the wealthiest one percent have increased by over 275%. The Super Committee should reject harmful benefit cuts touching the lives of virtually every American family whether or not Republicans agree to increase government revenue.  In Washington, ‘shared sacrifice’ and ‘balanced approach’ have become code  for expecting everyday Americans to compound their sacrifice in the hopes that our nation’s corporations and wealthy might also be asked to give up a tax break here or there.  The middle-class and poor in our nation have sacrificed enough. Outside of the Beltway, the debate is over. Over 70% of the American people reject the idea that cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid should be part of a deficit reduction package and these citizens have said they’ll hold Congress accountable.  It’s time for them to listen to their constituents.” Max Richtman, NCPSSM President/CEO

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New Analysis Confirms: SuperCommittee Social Security Cuts WOULD Hurt Current Retirees

One of the most cynical approaches used by those who’ve been advocating Social Security benefit cuts for decades has been to argue that as long as we don’t touch current retirees’ benefits (ie, protect the politically active senior voter) slashing Social Security would be an easier sell politically. Problem is…that view may sound good tossed around in a think-tank boardroom but it just doesn’t wash out in the real world.   American seniors want Social Security protected for their children and grandchildren too.  President Bush learned that the hard way during his privatization push. However, in spite of this, politicians of both political parties continue to wrap their “everything’s on the table” deficit rhetoric with a promise that America’s current retirees wouldn’t be hurt by cuts being discussed in the Congressional Super Committee.  Now it’s clear even this is yet another empty promise.  According to the House Ways and Means committee, new analysis provided by the Chief Actuary at the Social Security Administration shows: “Three-quarters of all Social Security payments between 2012 and 2021 the 10-year period in which the Select Committee is required to generate deficit reduction will go to current recipients, while an additional 21 percent will go to Americans who are very close to retirement-age and will start receiving benefits between 2012 and 2019, according to the Actuary’s analysis. The analysis highlights that there is virtually no way for the panel to use Social Security cuts to meet its target without harming current beneficiaries. Current retirees have struggled in recent years because there was no cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in 2010 or 2011. The Social Security Administration yesterday announced a 3.6 percent COLA for 2012.” In short, current retirees will be impacted by Social Security cuts being proposed by members of the Congressional Super Committee regardless of empty promises to the contrary.   

This provides yet another reason to join our “Hands Off – No Cuts” Campaign.  Write a letter, join a rally, send an email.  Tell Congress once and for all-- cutting middle-class programs serving generations of Americans to solve a crisis they didn’t create is not fiscal responsibility.

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New Radio Ad Warns Congress Hands Off-No Cuts

Cutting Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security is NOT Fiscal Responsibility Today we've launched a new  six-figure radio ad buy,  as part of the “Hands Off –No Cuts Campaign” .  Six radio stations, including Spanish language radio, will run the ad throughout the Washington, D.C. metro area. We've also gotten some attention in the press this week.  USA Today highlighted the grassroots work done by our activists in their interview with Sam Burnett, a retired school administrator from Toledo. Roll Call had this photo of our Hands Off-No Cuts Truck with our favorite headline to date:  "Hounded by Ads" .   That's just how we want Members of Congress to feel! The New York Times did a piece on the Super Committee's super secrecy and talked to Max Richtman, our President/CEO, about the flawed process. And here's what Max had to say today about our radio ad campaign kickoff: “This ad campaign reminds members of  Congress that Americans do not support trading away Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid’s life-saving benefits in another version of ‘Let’s Make a Deal’ Washington-style. The vast majority of Americans of all political persuasions do not want to balance the budget by cutting Medicare or Social Security because they know they’ve funded these programs, which serve as lifelines to millions still reeling in this economy. They also know targeting middle-class Americans, who’ve already borne the burden of an economic collapse they didn’t create, is not shared sacrifice by any definition.” Max Richtman, President/CEO This latest round of ads is part of our multi-million dollar effort to mobilize and inform older Americans about the Congressional Super Committee’s ongoing budget debate in Washington and the threatened cuts to programs which are relied upon by virtually every American family.  Other elements of the effort include:

  • Mobile Billboards. The National Committee’s mobile billboards continue to roll in DC this week promoting the No Cuts message over every mile of official Washington—from Capitol Hill to the White House and beyond—with a high visibility message that can’t be ignored.
  • Phone Calls. A second call-in campaign to Congress begins this week.  More than 32,000 calls to Member’s offices were made in the first phone mobilization campaign and even more calls will flood the Capitol beginning this week.
  • Grassroots Campaign. Activists are holding rallies and meetings at Congressional District offices, community centers and public events.  Grassroots volunteers are also meeting with their congressional members one-on-one reminding them that cutting benefits to middle-class Americans is not fiscal responsibility.
  • Television ads.  A new six-figure television ad campaign will launch this month on major cable and broadcast networks including NBC, CBS, Fox , MSNBC and CNN reminding Congress of Americans broad opposition to cutting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to balance the budget.
  • Congressional District Radio Ads in targeted markets will bring the Hands Off-No Cuts message directly to voters and their elected leaders across the nation.
You can listen to the ad HERE.

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Massive "No Cuts" Campaign Begins

Battle Over Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid Heats Up as Seniors’ Organization Launches Seven-Figure  “No Cuts” Campaign

Grassroots, Media & Internet strategies will build national protest movement

The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare has launched the largest grassroots mobilization and media campaign in its long history of defending programs vital to millions of Americans.  Grassroots field workers are in Washington for an intensive training session this week and will begin field operations immediately in Congressional Districts from coast to coast. Already, the “No Cuts” campaign has generated 20 thousand calls to Congress from Americans who oppose cutting the nation’s most successful programs to reduce the deficit.  In addition to this massive grassroots mobilization, the National Committee will also launch an expansive media campaign in Washington and beyond; including, new bipartisan national polling to be released tomorrow Thursday, September 22nd, television and radio ads, mobile billboards, advocacy videos and a social media campaign to engage the National Committee’s online community. National Committee Grassroots Volunteers & District Field Directors joined NCPSSM President/CEO, Max Richtman, at today’s launch of the first of two Mobile Billboard “NO CUTS” campaign trucks which will cover every mile of official Washington—from Capitol Hill to the White House and beyond—with a high visibility message that can’t be ignored.  We’ll also make stops along the way collecting petition signatures and engaging and mobilizing Americans who demand Congress hear their message, “No Cuts to Social Security and Medicare”. “While the American people have said time and time again they do not support reducing our deficit on the backs of working Americans, retirees and their families, Washington is poised to do just that.    Outside Washington, most people don’t even know there is a ‘Super Committee’ yet these twelve members could decide the future of generations of middle class Americans before the average American knows what hit him.  That’s why we’re making the biggest investment in our organization’s history to help the American people organize and deliver their message to Washington loud and clear—cutting benefits to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to pay for fiscal failures of the past is not fiscal responsibility.”  Max Richtman, President/CEO

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