GOP Targets Social Security, Medicare for Fiscal Cliff

Unless Congress and the president reach an agreement before January 1, tax rates will automatically rise next year for nearly all Americans and major spending cuts, known as “sequestration,” will automatically begin to kick in for most government spending programs, including defense.

The only way to avoid sequestration is for Congress to pass an alternative spending plan.

The president’s plan includes extended tax cuts for the middle class, higher taxes for the rich, an extended payroll tax cut, extended unemployment benefits, $50 billion to fund infrastructure projects like roads and bridges and $25 billion for other short-term programs, including extending a tax deduction that lets businesses accelerate depreciation on equipment purchases. The plan is projected to boost revenue by $1.6 trillion.

The House Republican plan, however, would raise only half that. The proposal from Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) revives the same ideas from failed budget talks last year. It calls for an extension of all the Bush tax cuts – including the rich, raising the eligibility age for Medicare, lowering cost-of-living hikes for Social Security benefits and large cuts to mandatory and discretionary spending.
“Republicans intend on forcing working families to pay for the deficit by cutting Medicare, Social Security and other important social programs,” said IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger. “Meanwhile the wealthy pay nothing. Middle-class families have given up enough in this recession. Continuing to shift the burden and costs to workers and retirees is not the solution.”

Click here to tell Congress and the White House their final deal must stop sequestration while protecting the middle class. Click here to demand a payroll tax cut extension. And click here to demand extended unemployment benefits for the jobless.

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