What You Can Do to Defend the Social Safety Net

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  • NO tax breaks for the richest 2%.
  • NO Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid Cuts.

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THE PSC IS IN THE HOUSE: The PSC joined the NYC Central Labor Council, other unions and community and immigrant groups for a "National Day of Action for Good Jobs and an Economy that Works For All" on Thursday, December 6th. New Yorkers rallied in Times Square. Pictured below are (1) John Hyland, Jim Perstein and Joel Berger from the PSC Safety Net Working Group, (2) Cecelia McCall speaking for the PSC and the Safety Net Working Group at the rally and (3) a poster for the event. (Photo credits: top - Pat Arnow; bottom left - Greg Dunkel)
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CALLS FOR AUSTERITY ARE A THREAT TO THE SAFETY NET AND TO THE STABILITY OF OUR ECONOMY

Below: A letter to the editor in the December Clarion from the PSC Social Safety Net Working Group explains the issue.

According to popular rumors, the ancient Mayan calendar says that the world will come to an end on December 21, 2012. Meanwhile the media tells us that our government may go over a “fiscal cliff” on January 1.

In 2011, Republican legislative blackmail over an increase in the debt ceiling, previously treated as a routine accounting matter, led to the Budget Control Act, which requires savage spending cuts this January if Congress has not adopted a plan to reduce the deficit by $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years.

At a time of stubborn unemployment and impoverishment of millions, Washington’s obsession with deficits is alarming. Slashing Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other necessary social programs will only sink us into deeper recession. Instead, we need more economic stimulus – yes, we need more deficit spending. This would increase consumer purchasing power and allow us to maintain and enhance the safety net – growing the economy and expanding our tax base as a result, and allowing deficit reduction in the longer run. But economic reality has been turned on its head with this constant bipartisan drumbeat for deficit reduction.

The current deficit of the US government does not threaten our economic stability. Calls for austerity and cuts to our social safety net, on the other hand, pose a threat that is very real, and could plunge us into a deeper recession.

Many Congressional Democrats have said they would be willing to cut social safety net programs in return for increased tax rates on higher incomes. But such cuts are not only unnecessary, they would be profoundly harmful – to seniors, the poor and the middle class, to our economy as a whole. Union members need to mobilize to defeat these “Grand Bargain” proposals.

Joel Berger
and other members of
the PSC Social Safety Net Working Group

Editor’s note: To help oppose cuts to the social safety net, contact PSC Social Safety Net Working Group Co-chairs, John Hyland (LagSoc@aol.com) or Steve Leberstein (sleberstein@pscmail.org)

PSC SAFETY NET CAMPAIGN: Find out more by clicking here.