Over the next few weeks, President Obama and Congress will be under tremendous pressure during the current lame duck session to avert the looming “fiscal cliff.” They will face a series of high-stakes decisions on jobs and taxes that will directly affect working families and their communities. The decisions our elected officials make could begin to close the economic inequality gap in America—or make it worse.
Some politicians in both parties are supporting an approach to the deficit that would lower tax rates for the wealthy and corporations, impose new taxes (such as taxes on workers’ health benefits) on the middle class, and slash essential programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. We can’t afford this approach.
The AFT supports a balanced approach that would:
- Let the Bush tax cuts expire for those making more than $250,000;
- Ensure that Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefits are not cut and that the costs of these programs are not shifted to beneficiaries or to the states;
- Avert sequestration, which would result in devastating across-the-board cuts in state aid, education, healthcare funding and much more; and
- Include components of President Obama’s American Jobs Act that support job creation and retention as well as infrastructure investments.
You can learn more about what’s at stake here.