We are at a critical juncture. Congress has enacted legislation mandating major deficit reductions and has established a Super Committee to move this process forward. We, here at Peaceworks, question the basic premise that—given the economic crisis we’re in—this is an appropriate time to be pushing deficit reduction.
This said, the Super Committee is currently working to put together recommendations that Congress will vote on in late November. This could lead to some very destructive policies that could hurt working and low-income Americans, the environment and the economy at large. We have therefore initiated a campaign to visit the local offices of our two U.S. Senators, over the lunch-hour, daily between now and Nov. 22. We hope a groundswell of concern from the grassroots may influence their positions. You can make a difference by participating in this campaign.
LOGISTICS: Each day, our crew meets at the Wabash Station between 12 and 12:10 and then proceeds to have brief visits at each of the two Senate offices, which are just three blocks apart. We have a point-person and daily topic each day, and would welcome your input in topics to raise. We complete our two visits by approximately 12:40 or 12:45.
SIGN UP: We encourage all to sign up for one or more days. You can do this by calling us at 573-875-0539 or sending an e-mail to us at email@example.com Please indicate which day(s) you’d like to participate. Please include your phone number, so our coordinators can contact you prior to the day of the visit.
The more of us who show up for these daily visits, the STRONGER MESSAGE WE DELIVER.
OUR MESSAGE: While our specific issue focus is different each day, some of the general principles we are suggesting the Senators follow include:
1) We need long-run fiscal balance, but we should not, in the midst of the deepest economic downturn in 75 years, be trying to balance our budget now. Instead, we should work to stimulate the economy in the short-run, and adopt taxation and spending policies that, in the long-run, will lead to fiscal balance.
2) There is, however, the potential, in the short-run to attain some significant savings by ending the wars and eliminating unneeded military expenditures. Hundreds of billions per year could be cut from the Pentagon’s budget and we would still have the most powerful and well funded military in the world.
3) There should be no cuts to our social insurance programs, Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid.
4) Likewise, other programs that meet human needs or provide environmental protection should not be on the chopping block.
5) We should be investing in the creation of a sustainable energy future and should pull the plug on subsides to all dirty energy sources, including all fossil fuels and nuclear power.
6) Bringing in increased tax revenues from those who can afford to pay is a fair and practical way to balance our budget. This includes individuals and corporations. We should be closing loopholes and repealing the Bush era tax cuts for the wealthy. Overall, we need a more progressive tax code.