by Felix Perez
With less than a week to produce a plan that would reduce future deficits, the congressional Super Committee appears to be no closer to a deal on which both parties can agree.
The 12-member committee is struggling to find middle ground on two vastly different approaches: impose drastic cuts to education, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security while maintaining tax cuts for the wealthiest, or scaling back tax breaks for the highest income earners and tax subsidies for corporations while protecting the education and health services that provide a lifeline to children, the elderly and struggling families.
If the committee cannot agree on a plan by its statutory deadline of November 23 to reduce deficits by at least $1.2 trillion, health, education, medical research, defense and other federal programs would be decimated by automatic spending cuts beginning in 2013.
Educators and other children and family advocates cringe at the prospect of automatic cuts and what they would mean to the millions of struggling children, women, elderly and families that rely on Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security and vital education services for children with disabilities or living in poverty.
Legislators are increasingly being pressured to have corporations pay their fair share. A new analysis by the National Education Association [ed note: pdf link] estimates that corporations avoided paying $223 billion in taxes from 2008 to 2010. Of that amount, nearly $10 billion would have gone to public schools and colleges. The lost revenue, among other things, would have allowed an additional 450,000 children to enroll in preschool.
Help keep the pressure on the super committee to find a balanced approach to deficit reduction. Tell our elected officials we cannot sacrifice America’s future prosperity by cutting education, health, and other programs that serve children, seniors, and families barely scraping by.
Click here to read NEA’s complete letter to the super committee. You can find out more about NEA’s new Cost of Corporate Tax Avoidance report by visiting NEA.org.