Now that the election’s over, we’re going to start hearing a lot about a “fiscal cliff” and the “grand bargain” from the media and our representatives in Congress.
Many politicians and pundits will say that if we don’t make drastic cuts to the federal budget — including dangerous cuts to Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid — our country will fall off a fiscal cliff. They call it a cliff to make it sound inevitable.
But there’s more to this story.
Despite what we hear from politicians and the media, we aren’t facing a naturally occurring cliff—we are facing something more like a fiscal football game, created by politicians who set the clock to overtime to rush us into a stupid play.
The truth is we do have a big federal deficit. It was caused by bad tax policy, which was created by politicians. The good news is we can fix this deficit with a game-changing play! We can create good tax policy (for starters, we can let the Bush tax cuts expire for people making over $250,000/year), and by putting Americans back to work.
That’s where care comes in. We can create the two million care jobs needed to support seniors and people with disabilities to live at home with dignity and respect. Investing in the care sector is a common-sense way to address a growing need for care workers (every 8 seconds someone turns 65 in this country) AND help solve our economic problems, too.
But there are no politicians in Washington lining up to make this much-needed play. Instead they are looking to make a “grand bargain,” which is neither grand nor a bargain. In every proposal on the table we, the people, lose—through cuts to crucial programs like Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security, and an extension of tax policy that keeps the playing field uneven. This sounds more like a swindle than a bargain.
To me, it seems like this game is rigged.
Over the next couple of months we’ll be asking you to step onto the field and make the call for a game changer– ending Bush Tax Cuts, and investing in care jobs. We know this is the only real way to win.
Joseph Phelan, Caring Across Generations.
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