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Budget Day Attacks

April 10, 2013 9:05 am ET
The release of the President's FY14 budget today is sure to spark more falsehoods and attacks on economic issues from Republicans in Congress and their right wing media allies. Push back with these key Attacks & Responses.

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ATTACKS AND RESPONSES


ON THE BUDGET: "The President's budget never balances. The GOP budget does."
RESPONSE:

  • There's no question that the American people are demanding fiscal responsibility from our leaders in Washington. 
  • But for Republicans in Congress, a balanced budget is just a sound bite. When they say "balanced budget," what they really mean is slashing investments in America to pay for tax cuts for the rich.
  • It's simple math -- the numbers don't add up unless the middle class pays for the GOP budget's tax giveaways to millionaires, oil companies, and corporations that ship jobs overseas.
  • The GOP budget would actually massively raise taxes on the middle class or massively add to the debt. That's because cutting taxes for wealthy people and big corporations means everyone else has to make up the difference.


ON SOCIAL SECURITY & MEDICARE: "The President's budget doesn't go far enough to reform entitlements."
RESPONSE:

  • Let's be clear on what Congressional Republicans really mean when they say "reform": cut and privatize Social Security, turn Medicare into a voucher, and wash their hands of Medicaid altogether.
  • With everyone but the rich falling behind, a vote to cut our Social Security and Medicare benefits is a vote to shrink our middle class. Children are not better off either if their parents and grandparents are worse off.
  • That's not true fiscal responsibility, and it's not true to our values as Americans. In these tight times, we should be investing in what works -- the most efficient systems for securing our health care and financial security.
  • Cutting Social Security and Medicare benefits isn't just bad policy. It's bad politics. Americans overwhelmingly oppose cutting benefits and agree we must not let politicians betray the sacred promise each generation makes to the next.


ON THE DEFICIT: "We have a debt crisis."
RESPONSE:

  • What we have is a jobs crisis. We should be doing everything we can to put Americans back to work, which is also the best way to erase the deficit.
  • Even Speaker Boehner admits that we don't have a debt crisis. When GOP leaders agree with the President and nonpartisan experts like the CBO on this, there shouldn't be controversy.
  • But Republicans in Congress keep trying anyway to force European austerity on America and using arguments about the deficit and interest rates that apply to Europe but not America.


ON SPENDING: "The President's budget doesn't cut wasteful spending enough."
RESPONSE:

  • Let's be clear here -- spending cuts for Republicans in Congress mean job cuts for ordinary Americans.
  • They're talking about laying off the Americans who keep our air and water clean, the scientists who research lifesaving innovations, the teachers who educate our children, the cops and firefighters who keep us safe.
  • Economists say we have the opposite problem -- we're not investing enough to create enough jobs. It's common sense -- putting people back to work puts money into our pockets and paying customers back in our stores, which keeps them hiring and thriving.


ON TAXES: "We're done on taxes but Democrats want to raise them even more."
RESPONSE:

  • Politicians only say they're done on taxes if they want to keep our tax code rigged.
  • Our rigged tax code still allows billionaire hedge fund managers to pay lower taxes than their secretaries and some big corporations to pay no taxes at all. Clearly there's plenty left to do on taxes!
  • These tax loopholes are easy to find, but Republicans in Congress refuse to name a single one they would actually close. 
  • In fact, Republicans in Congress are the ones trying to raise taxes on the middle class. They want to let wealthy people and big corporations pay far lower tax rates than they do now, which means everyone else has to make up the difference. It's simple math.


ON DISABILITY: "People on Social Security disability are the new welfare queens."
RESPONSE:

  • Only the people with the most severe disabilities are eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance or the Supplemental Security Income program. The rules are so strict that most people's claims are rejected.
  • There are simple reasons why more Americans are now receiving disability insurance -- demographics. More women became insured after they entered the workforce and more Americans are entering their senior years when they're more likely to have a disability.
  • There's a good reason too why people with disabilities like mental illness and debilitating back pain are receiving disability benefits longer than others -- they're not dying as quickly as others receiving benefits.
  • But even as more Americans have been applying for Social Security disability in recent years, the rates of people qualifying for it have stayed flat. In fact, there's less than 1% fraud in the system, as President Bush's former Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue points out.
  • These disability programs exist so Americans can count on them when they need it -- whether it's a worker with a bad back that keeps them off their feet or a child with severe disabilities and a family who have become so poor that they now qualify for SSI.

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Posted in - Health Care - Budget - Taxes - Economy - Seniors - Jobs

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