For Immediate Release
Don’t Balance Budget on Backs of Middle Class
WASHINGTON - Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said today that Congress must not balance the budget by cutting programs for working families after giving tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires.
“At a time when the gap between the rich and everyone else is wider than it has been in decades, it would be wrong to balance the budget on the backs of people already suffering from the recession who are receiving Social Security, enrolled in Head Start or depend on home heating assistance,” Sanders said.
House Republicans last month rammed through a bill that would cut this year's budget by more than $60 billion. That bill would:
- Cut $1.1 billion from Head Start depriving services for 218,000 children.
- Cut $1.3 billion for Social Security delaying benefits for 500,000 Americans.
- Slash $1.3 billion from community health centers taking primary health care from 11 million patients.
- Reduce or eliminate Pell Grants for 9.4 million low-income college students.
- Cut $405 million from Community Services Block Grants affecting 20 million seniors, families with children and the disabled.
- End job training and other employment services for 8 million Americans.
Over Sanders’ objections, Congress late last year extended tax breaks for the top 2 percent of Americans who now pay the lowest tax rates in decades. “It is time to ask the wealthy to start paying their fair share,” Sanders said.
A member of the Senate Budget Committee, Sanders also noted that today’s $14 trillion national debt was driven up by tax breaks for the wealthy, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a Wall Street bailout and a prescription drug program drafted by pharmaceutical companies.
FRIENDS: Help Us Fight
Independent journalism has become the last firewall against government and corporate lies. Yet, with frightening regularity, independent media sources are losing funding, closing down or being blacked out by Google and Facebook. Never before has independent media been more endangered. If you believe in Common Dreams, if you believe in people-powered independent media, please support us now and help us fight—with truths—against the lies that would smother our democracy. Please help keep Common Dreams alive and growing. Thank you. -- Craig Brown, Co-founder