Please call and email the White House immediately. Urge the president to support a jobs plan like Rep. Jan Schakowsky's Emergency Jobs to Restore the American Dream Act, which would create 2.2 million jobs and be paid for by requiring corporations and multimillionaires to start paying their fair share of taxes. Also, advise the president, above all, not to call for increasing the Medicare eligibility age to 67. He should also reject cuts in Social Security, Medicaid, family planning, and other important programs. The president needs to hear that women need jobs, not cuts!
Rumors are flying that President Obama is once again heading down the wrong path, seeking to negotiate a "grand bargain" with conservatives who see no need to compromise with him. The president is giving a major speech on Sept. 8, outlining what he wants to see in a plan from the "super-committee" -- the bipartisan group of 12 members of Congress charged with recommending additional spending cuts to reduce the federal deficit.
Unfortunately, the president is expected to: (1) call for a deficit-reduction package with huge social program cuts disproportionately harmful to women, but only weak and unspecified "tax reform;" and (2) fail to get behind a bold, effective jobs plan, opting instead for indirect measures like tax incentives that are not likely to help women or men regain employment.
Specifically, the president may propose a whopping $4 trillion reduction in the federal deficit over the next 10 years, including a serious reduction to Social Security's cost-of-living adjustment and a raise in the Medicare eligibility age to 67. The combined cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid could be as much as $650 billion! In other words, our information is that Obama is embracing the conservatives' view on how to cure our economic ills. We believe that the president's imagined "grand bargain" will result in a worsening economy, continued long-term unemployment, the undermining of many critical human investment programs, and rising poverty.
We are concerned that President Obama -- overly focused on independent voters who want to see "compromise" -- may be all too ready to make painful concessions while not requiring substantial increases in revenues. But the best way to reduce the federal deficit over the long term is through increased employment and fair taxation of the rich, both of which would bring in more revenues to the government.
The White House must draw a line in the sand against right-wingers intent on drowning our government in the bathtub. He must hold fast for programs important to protect low- and middle-income families, while investing in initiatives that grow the economy. Obvious to nearly everyone in this country, a massive jobs stimulus program is needed to get the economy moving again. The U.S. lost seven million jobs between 2007 and 2009, and we would need to get those back and create another four million jobs to employ a younger population coming into the workforce as well.
We see no point in President Obama continuing to try to find common ground with conservative lawmakers whose only agenda is to do whatever it takes, including wrecking the U.S. economy, to destroy his presidency.