Community activists say they have an alternative plan for making Chicago fiscally solvent -- and it doesn't rely on cuts that disproportionately affect low- and middle-income people.
A new report, "Our Kind of Town: A Financial Plan that Puts Chicago's Communities First," targets "predatory financial deals" that cost the city millions of dollars. The paper, crafted by the Refund America Project at the Roosevelt Institute, also suggests a series of progressive taxes could put millions back into the city's coffers.
"What we have is a priorities crisis," said Amisha Patel, executive director of the Grassroots Collaborative at press conference outside the offices of Loop Capital Management. "For decades, budgets in Chicago have been balanced on the backs of working families. In fact, there are a clear set of policy solutions to raise a progressive revenue that our neighborhoods need."
President Barack Obama's 2014 budget proposal to be unveiled
Wednesday will reportedly include cuts to Medicare and changes to Social
Security through the "chained CPI" inflation formula in exchange for
U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D, IL-8) announced her co-sponsorship of the bipartisan Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE)
Act today, which would allow individuals with disabilities to have
tax-deferred savings accounts in order to fund health care, housing and
other essential expenses.
The ABLE Act, introduced in the Senate, S. 313, and House, H.R. 647, in February, aims to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to create the tax-free accounts.
“Disabled Americans deserve every opportunity to achieve their dreams,” Duckworth said in a statement today. “The
bipartisan ABLE Act would allow disabled Americans to invest in saving
accounts without having it count against their federal benefits.”
Illinois labor representatives and U.S. Reps. Jan Schakowsky
(D-Evanston) and Bill Foster (D-Naperville) gathered in Chicago this morning on a national day of mobilization to call on House
Republicans to stop holding families and seniors hostage in the ongoing fiscal cliff negotiations.
The Washington lawmakers,
along with members of the Chicago Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO and advocates for the poor and middle class, stressed that tax loopholes for
Wall Street and the richest Americans be closed instead of cutting
Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security benefits.
about real people who will suffer real pain if the wrong decisions are
made,” said William McNary of Citizen Action Illinois.
As lawmakers continue to make little progress in their negotiations
over the federal budget, local senior rights advocates warn that
proposed cuts in spending to the country’s social safety net would
negatively affect many of the state’s elderly and most vulnerable
The importance of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid was the focus of a new report that illustrates the positive impact these programs
have on the state’s economy, as well as those who receive the benefits.
“We need to remember Social Security, Medicare
and Medicaid are truly the foundation of the middle class,” said Emily
Stuart, director at the Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans. “Without them, the middle class would most certainly suffer.”
Chicagoans and residents from across the state are set to take part in a national day of action, calling on legislators to preserve Medicare, Medicaid and social services as they continue fiscal cliff talks.
As lawmakers race against time to work out a deal on the
federal budget before the dreaded “fiscal cliff” goes into effect,
protesters on Thursday called on U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin to reject any
plan that results in spending cuts to the country’s social safety net.
than 100 demonstrators gathered in Federal Plaza for what organizers
described as their effort to pressure the Democratic lawmaker to stand
firm on a fiscal plan that allows the Bush-era tax cuts to expire
for the top 2 percent of Americans, or those earning more than $250,000
Protestors were also calling on Durbin, who served on President Barack Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform,
to reject proposed cuts to social programs such as Medicare, Medicaid
and Social Security, saying such a move would have a Great
Depression-style effect for the most vulnerable of Americans.
As the debate on the fiscal cliff rages on, the Obama administration took to its tech tool box and found yet another way to use social media as a means to make an impact in Washington.
Yesterday, the Obama administration asked American Twitter users to use the hashtag #My2k to post messages about how a tax increase of $2,000 would impact their daily lives. The move is a savvy one that has gotten Americans talking about the fiscal cliff and Bush tax cuts, and will hopefully keep them attuned to the political discussions taking place in Washington.