Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Fighting the Same Fights

This Friday, a series of harmful, across-the-board cuts (known as the sequester) are scheduled to take place unless Congress takes action.  

Although the President has offered a balanced approach to solving our nation’s economic problems –one that includes a combination of spending cuts AND revenue increases – Republican leaders are continuing their refusal to compromise, even if it sends our nation into default.

But if history tells us anything, it’s that we cannot cut our way to prosperity. After all, as we learned in the 1990s, nothing grows the economy faster than a strong middle-class.

When the middle-class goes, so goes the nation.   

We need to stop fighting the same battles and ask Republican leaders to start putting the nation ahead of politics.  How? By quickly accepting programs that work, regardless of which party proposed it.

EX #1) Stimulus: Although Republicans are vehemently opposed to any increase in government spending, almost all House members (including “budget-aficionado” Congressman Paul Ryan) begged for federal stimulus dollars in their states after learning how important they were to stimulate weak economies.  

EX #2) Obamacare: Although Republicans voted over 30 times to repeal the law and campaigned vigorously against it, many (including Florida Governor Rick Scott and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie) are reversing their oppositions after realizing how important the law is to curb healthcare costs.

EX #3) Reducing our Deficit: Time and time again, the President has proven his ability to compromise, sometimes even angering some in his own base. When he argued for a Stimulus –which Republicans have traditionally agreed to – they all voted against it. When he argued for the Individual Mandate in Healthcare –which was a Republican idea in the first place – they all voted against it. And when he tries to reduce our deficit in a responsible manner, Republicans signed a tax pledge that benefited only the wealthiest few.

The President has already made important and targeted spending cuts via entitlement savings in Healthcare, Medicare, and Student Loans (which the CBO estimates will reduce spending over $2 trillion over 10 years).

The President has already passed the largest tax cuts in history with the American Recovery and Investment Act (ie. the first stimulus). And unlike the Bush-era tax cuts that benefited the wealthiest few, the Obama tax cuts were successfully targeted at working and middle-class families. Furthermore, he passed the payroll tax cuts that put an additional $1000 in the pockets of middle-class families, extended unemployment benefits to those who need assistance, and lowered the costs of living for all Americans by saving the U.S. Auto-Industry and passing Wall Street reform, Student Loan reform, and Healthcare reform.

All he is asking for, in return, is to close tax loopholes that grant breaks to the wealthiest individuals, especially when these breaks come at the expense of the middle-class.

"If Congress allows this meat cleaver approach to take place, it will jeopardize our military readiness, it will eviscerate job-creating investments in education and energy and medical research. It won't consider whether we're cutting some bloated program that has outlived its usefulness or a vital service that Americans depend on every single day,” (President Obama).

Call your representatives TODAY and tell House Republicans to take action.