Newsflash:
Friday, 01 March 2013 18:53

Sequester threatens American dream

Written by  Rep. Barbara Lee | Politico
The author says the high poverty rate is the real crisis in America  The author says the high poverty rate is the real crisis in America John Shinkle/POLITICO

This week, all eyes are on Congress. Sequester is looming, and these indiscriminate cuts would not only hurt the poor first, but hurt them the most. Nearly 50 million of our neighbors — almost 16 million of them children — live in poverty; in the richest nation in the world, this is deplorable, unconscionable, but above all, solvable.

Forcing children, the poor and the elderly to shoulder the burden of the Republicans’ dysfunction is not who we are as a nation, and it must be stopped. At a time when we should be investing in jobs and education, Republicans are not only threatening the fragile economic recovery but gutting programs that help low-income families the most, families who are still recovering from the Great Recession.

Experts agree, if sequestration goes through, it will push us dangerously close to shredding the social safety net that so many families rely on as rungs on the ladder of economic opportunity into the middle class. The sequester would slash programs that help single mothers get food on the table, provide child care to low-income families and support essential mental health services for underserved communities.

We must replace the indiscriminate sequester with a common-sense solution. Earlier this month, several of my colleagues in the Congressional Progressive Caucus and I introduced The Balancing Act, a bill that would replace the sequester with a plan that achieves a balanced ratio of cuts versus revenue by closing tax loopholes for hedge fund managers, deductions for yachts and corporate jets, cutting $278 billion in wasteful Pentagon spending and ending tax credits that encourage companies to keep shipping good-paying American jobs overseas.

While we work to avert the sequester, the real crisis remains: unbelievably high rates of poverty in America.

To begin to address this ongoing poverty crisis, Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer and I are launching a Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity. This group of lawmakers will work closely with the administration to develop support for a national strategy to eliminate barriers to opportunity and eradicate poverty, with the initial goal of cutting poverty in half in 10 years.

Key principles of the Task Force include enhancing coordination and alignment of federal, state and local anti-poverty programs to maximize the impact of every federal dollar in the fight against poverty; strengthening federal oversight of anti-poverty programs by improving how we measure and evaluate the impact of anti-poverty programs, as well as the long-term economic outcomes of the Americans who receive assistance; and removing barriers and obstacles that prevent low-income Americans from joining the middle class.

The pathway out of poverty and into the middle class is what the American dream is all about, an idea without political affiliation or party identification and a core value that every American supports. It is by strengthening and growing the ranks of America’s middle class that we ensure a robust economy that works for all of us. Eliminating poverty is not just a moral imperative for the country but a vital economic one as well.

Our nation’s greatest strength is not our military might, but the freedom and equality of opportunity that built the largest and most prosperous middle class the world has ever known. We cannot allow a growing middle class to become just an American dream — it must continue to be an American reality.


Rep. Barbara Lee is a Democrat from California.

Original article on Politico

Read 2508 times

PDA In Your State

Progressive Round Table

Please make plans to join us for the July Progressive Round Table. We will focus on Declaring our Independence from Wall Street and Corporate Control. Please join Progressive Democrats of America and many others Wednesday, July 16 from 1 to 3pm in Rayburn 2103. Livestreamed anywhere you are by We Act Radio. Featuring: Andrea Miller - Detroit Water Shutoff Update Rep. Keith Ellison (HR 1579 - Inclusive Prosperity Act) Rep. Jim McGovern (HJ Res20 & 21 - Corporations are NOT People and Money is NOT Speech) Rep. Jim McDermott - HR 4754 - Managed Carbon Price Act of 2014 Rep. Mark Pocan - Trans Pacific Partnership Emily Wurth - Food and Water Watch Public Banking - BankAct - Marc Armstrong Robin Hood Tax Campaign - Kenn Zinn,National Nurses United Jacqui Nantier - We Are Woman - ERA and Voting Rights DC Rally American Sustainable Business Council - Stephen Shaff Labor Campaign for Single Payer - Mark Dudzic Trey Hawkins - Credit Union National Association Witold Skwierczynski - AFGE - Stop the closing of Social Security Offices Please contact Andrea Miller andrea@pdamerica.org for more information about how to get involved with PDA, and / or with PDA's July Round Table meeting. Hope you can join us!

PDA's July Congressional Roundtable


PDA’s July Congressional Roundtable
PDA June Roundtable
PDA June Roundtable
7007 sec.
Views: 164
PDA’s Progressive Roundtable
PDA's Progressive Roundtable
4978 sec.
Views: 196
PDA April Roundtable
PDA April Roundtable
6526 sec.
Views: 141

Sign the Petition - Sen. Sanders Run as a Democrat in 2016

Button-SandersPetition

PDA in the Media