On March 1, new federal cuts will begin to take effect. If nothing is done, many hundreds of thousands of people will be hurt by across-the-board cuts to education, job training, home heating assistance, public health, and social services, to name only a few areas. In NC, 18,300 children and mothers would lose WIC nutrition aid and 2,855 families would lose rental housing vouchers. In addition, NC would lose services for people with disabilities and services to low income children (K-12). These cuts will hurt North Carolina.
This does not have to happen.
Increased revenues from wealthy individuals and profitable corporations as well as savings from reducing waste in the Pentagon and elsewhere can prevent these cuts. In fact, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and other senators outlined a plan on February 14 (the American Family Economic Protection Act) that would replace the 2013 cuts by setting a minimum tax rate for millionaires, closing other loopholes, gradually cutting Pentagon spending, and ending certain farm subsidies. It will be up for a vote during the week of February 25.
Let your Congress person know how you feel — protect the vulnerable, speak for the voiceless — put your faith into action. It is very possible that Congress will not come up with an alternative by March 1, and the sequestration cuts will begin. Many believe that a final resolution will fold decisions about these cuts into decisions that must be made by March 27, when a temporary spending bill expires. That’s a high-stakes deadline. Most areas of government will shut down if spending is not approved for the rest of the fiscal year. That’s why your letter to Congress continues to be extremely important. Members of Congress will only agree to protect human needs programs, raise revenues, and make sensible savings in the Pentagon, if they hear from constituents saying that’s the right thing to do. Click here to send letters to your Representative and Senators.
–Sandy Irving, Volunteer Program Associate