By Senator Bernie Sanders and Social Security Works (Contact)
To be delivered to: The United States House of Representatives, The United States Senate, and President Barack Obama
Dear Fellow Americans,
In the midst of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, Wall Street and corporate America and virtually all Republicans are working on a deficit reduction plan to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, while lowering tax rates for the wealthy and large corporations. Sadly, some Democrats are also engaged in this effort. This plan is likely to come up during the lame duck session of Congress after the elections.
The idea of balancing the budget on the backs of some of the most vulnerable people in our country – the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor - is not only morally grotesque, it is extremely bad economics. We must vigorously oppose this plan.
As you know, the large deficit that we are now experiencing was primarily caused during the Bush years by two unpaid for wars, huge tax breaks for the rich and a prescription drug program written by the insurance and drug companies. Further, as a result of the greed, recklessness and illegal behavior on Wall Street which drove us into this terrible recession, revenue at 15.2 percent of GDP is the lowest in 60 years.
In order to cover the cost of the unpaid-for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, they want to make significant cuts to Social Security that will affect not only seniors but disabled veterans. They want to do this despite the fact that Social Security is funded by the payroll tax, has not added a penny to the deficit and has a $2.7 trillion surplus.
In order to cover the cost of tax breaks given to millionaires and billionaires, they want to increase the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67 and throw millions of families with children off of Medicaid.
At a time when the United States has the most unequal distribution of wealth and income of any major country and the gap between the very rich and everyone else is growing wider, their deficit-reduction plan calls for lowering the top tax rates for the rich and large corporations to 28 percent or even lower.
There are fair and sensible ways to reduce deficits, but having the rich and the powerful beat up on working families and the elderly is not one of them.
We ask that you join us in opposing any benefit cuts to Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid.
Senator Bernie Sanders
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