On Monday, President Obama unveiled a plan for economic growth and deficit reduction (pdf) that details how to pay for the American Jobs Act while also paying down our debt over time. The plan, which is being sent to the Congressional Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction, offers a balanced approach to further reduce our nation’s deficit and get our fiscal house in order, based on the values of shared responsibility and shared sacrifice. Organizations are adding their voice to the conversation and we would love to hear from you.
Communications Workers of America (CWA), Larry Cohen, President:
The administration’s plan is a positive step toward overall tax fairness and ensuring that the wealthiest Americans pay at least the same percentage of their earnings as working and middle class Americans. Rates for the wealthiest Americans have been cut 75 percent in the last 50 years.
Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Mary Kay Henry, President:
President Obama was right to propose the millionaire’s tax and an end to the Bush tax cuts as an important step in ending tax giveaways and closing corporate loopholes for those who haven’t done their part to turn our country around.
National Partnership for Women & Families, Debra L. Ness, President:
In these tough economic times, when enormous challenges and the hardest of choices are before us, establishing priorities is more important than ever. President Obama’s Plan for Economic Growth and Deficit Reduction is a move in the right direction. It can help begin to address America's economic problems while prioritizing the health and economic survival of older and low-income women and others who are more vulnerable than ever in this recession.
Medicare Rights Center, Joe Baker, President:
The president's dedication to a balanced approach to deficit reduction, which includes significant revenue increases through mechanisms such as ending tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans and corporations, helps protect programs like Medicare and Medicaid.
National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), Nancy Duff Campbell and Marcia D. Greenberger, Co-Presidents:
President Obama’s long-term deficit reduction proposal contains important provisions, including the requirement that wealthy individuals and corporations start paying their fair share of taxes and that Social Security remain intact.
Community Catalyst, Robert Restuccia, Executive Director and PICO National Network and senior pastor of Camden Bible Tabernacle Church, Rev. Heyward D. Wiggins III:
President Obama today offered a balanced approach to deficit reduction that protects middle class families, senior citizens, and children and asks for reasonable shared sacrifices from the wealthiest Americans and corporations. The plan complements the President’s much-needed jobs plan, which would put almost two million people back to work so they could support their families and have access to employer-sponsored health insurance.
AFL-CIO, Richard Trumka, President:
Today President Obama said some things that very much needed to be said. He said we need to focus first and foremost on creating jobs, and he laid out a plan for doing just that. He said that asking millionaires like Warren Buffett to start paying their fair share in taxes is not class warfare, but simple math. He said Social Security does not contribute one dime to the deficit and Social Security benefits must not be cut. He said drawing down from Iraq and Afghanistan would save $1.1 trillion over 10 years, which the Super Committee could use to avoid any cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security. And he explained once again how budget surpluses under President Clinton turned into budget deficits under President Bush: through two wars that were never paid for, tax cuts for wealthy people that we couldn't afford, and the effects of the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression that was caused by a failed economic philosophy that Republicans in Congress are now trying to revive.
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO (AFSCME), Gerald W. McEntee, President:
The President’s economic growth and deficit reduction proposal takes important steps toward building jobs and investing for the future. Congress should pass President Obama’s jobs bill immediately to improve the economy and put America back to work.
AARP, Nancy LeaMond, AARP Executive Vice President:
We appreciate that the President has heard the voices of the millions of AARP members and other older Americans who have been urging elected officials in Washington not to include cuts to Social Security in any deficit reduction deal.
Families USA, Ron Pollack, Executive Director:
We applaud the President’s emphasis on reducing federal budget deficits in a fair and equitable manner. It makes little sense that the burden of budget changes should be shouldered disproportionately by middle-class and lower-income Americans—with the most affluent failing to contribute their fair share.
National Education Association (NEA), Dennis Van Roekel, President:
The president is making the tough choices to get our nation’s fiscal house in order,” noted Van Roekel. “We welcome his timely call for shared sacrifice, especially among the wealthiest Americans. We applaud his effort to ensure that working families aren’t taking the brunt of our country’s economic crisis.
National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare, Max Richtman, President/CEO:
The White House has given us a desperately needed reality check offering a deficit plan providing the common-sense balance most Americans know is necessary.
B’nai B’rith, Rachel Goldberg, PhD, International Director of Aging Policy:
We are relieved to see a package that does not assume we can reduce the debt and balance the budget simply by slashing critical poverty, retirement, health care, education and infrastructure programs. There are many savings in the plan that B’nai B’rith has long supported, including making public health programs more efficient and geared toward positive health outcomes, but B’nai B’rith remains wary of some of the potential cuts.
Jon Carson is Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Public Engagement.