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Press Statement: Americans Want a Balanced and Fair Budget Now

Press Statement: Americans Want a Balanced and Fair Budget Now

We Demand Congress Stop Giving Tax Breaks to the Richest 2 Percent

Press Statement by Linda Meric, National Executive Director of 9to5

The phrase “Let them eat cake,” supposedly uttered by Marie Antoinette reflecting her obliviousness to the plight of the people, could be attributed to some members of Congress. Blind to the real hardships faced by millions of Americans and ignoring what the majority of voters in this country want, the U.S House of Representatives is set on harming our nation’s shared economic prosperity in exchange for giving tax breaks to those who need them the least.

In a recent poll released by Americans for Tax Fairness, two-thirds of voters say they want the richest 2 percent and large corporations to pay their fair share of taxes by closing tax loopholes and special-interest tax breaks. It’s time they live by the same rules as the rest of us and pay their fair share to reduce the deficit.

But rather than doing what’s right and fair, the U.S. House of Representatives is manufacturing yet another crisis – bad policy-making known as sequestration. On March 1, there will be $85 billion in mindless, across-the-board spending cuts including to vital safety net programs. These indiscriminate cuts will hurt working families, seniors and other vulnerable Americans. This gutless approach to policy-making is also likely to harm our fragile economy by cutting jobs and stifling growth.

If we don’t demand that Congress act now, these arbitrary cuts will deny food to children and seniors, turn low-income families out of their homes, cut unemployment benefits to the long-term unemployed and cost us jobs.

It’s wrong to make seniors pay more for Medicare in order to give tax cuts to big oil companies. It’s wrong to deny young children food they need to stay healthy so corporations like General Electric and Verizon pay zero dollars in federal income taxes.

There is a better way. We can raise revenues by ending tax breaks to large corporations that ship jobs overseas and use that money to invest in jobs here in America. We can ask millionaires to pay at least as high a tax rate as their secretaries, instead of cutting Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and education. We can close corporate tax loopholes and tax breaks and end corporate subsidies.

The budget agreement should reflect the values and priorities of working families and the middle class – the backbone of our economy. The budget cannot be balanced on the backs of America’s middle class and most vulnerable.

For the good of our nation and our people, we must invest in and protect education, health care, job training, and programs to assist low-income families. Everyone deserves to live in dignity. It’s up to us to fight together for an America that works for all of us — an America of good jobs, strong families and communities, and shared prosperity.

About 9to5: In 1973, a group of female office workers in Boston, fed up with being powerless and undervalued in the workplace, mobilized to change the way they were treated and paid. The group organized around their grievances; terms that didn’t yet exist– sexual harassment, pay equity and family leave. Forty years later, 9to5 has emerged as one of the largest, most respected national membership organizations winning justice for working women in the U.S. For more information, go to 9to5.org.

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Contact: Susan Berryman Rodriguez
National Public Relations Coordinator, 9to5
(404) 222.0030 or susan@9to5.org