NOW Blasts Super Committee's Irresponsible Proposals
Statement by NOW President Terry O'Neill
November 2, 2011
The deadline for the congressional "super committee" is fast approaching, and soon we will see who and what will be targeted under their deficit-cutting proposal. NOW already knows what the Republican members of the committee have in store for ordinary families. Every one of them voted for the notorious Ryan budget, which would have decimated Medicare and Medicaid and threatened the integrity of Social Security, while actually enhancing tax breaks for big corporations and millionaires.
But it's beyond distressing to see some Democrats knuckling under and now embracing plans that would cause great hardship on retirees -- mainly women, particularly women of color, as well as people with severe disabilities and our oldest seniors. The Democrats' proposal would change the cost-of-living allowance (COLA) so that monthly benefits are dramatically reduced, further impoverishing the millions of seniors who depend exclusively on their Social Security check. Medicare would be cut by $400 billion (on top of the $500 billion savings adopted in the Affordable Care Act), and Medicaid would be cut by $75 billion. Funding cuts to both of these critical programs, which primarily benefit women, is a special affront to NOW. There's not much worse than taking from the most vulnerable in society to pay for a deficit caused by a failure to tax millionaires and billionaires and waging two unfunded wars.
We are heartened that many Democrats are with us and will go to the mat to impose fair taxation on millionaires and protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. But we're disappointed by the failure of the Democratic senators on the super committee to come up with a strong plan to generate more revenue; their proposed ratio of spending cuts to revenue increases is a miserable six to one -- the most anemic of all deficit reduction plans offered to date. Republican members, meanwhile, are opposing any tax increases -- a deeply irresponsible stance given the causes of the deficit and our continuing economic crisis.
Polls show that the vast majority of Democratic, Republican and Independent voters do NOT agree with what super committee members are proposing. And don't think that voters will forget what Congress has done when they go to the polls in 2012. Check the facts out in our action alert, and contact members of your congressional delegation -- call them now, and call back repeatedly -- to let them know you strongly object to these plans.
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