Thursday, November 15, 2012

GP RELEASE Green Party to Obama: No 'Grand Bargain' cuts in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid‏

For Immediate Release:
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-904-7614,
Starlene Rankin, Media Coordinator, 916-995-3805,
Greens to Obama: Resist 'Grand Bargain' cuts in Social Security,
Medicare, Medicaid
• Green solution for the deficit: Reduce the bloated military budget,
end the wars, eliminate Bush's tax cuts for the rich
• Green Party Speakers Bureau: Greens available to speak on budget
policy and taxation:
WASHINGTON, DC -- Green Party leaders called on President Obama to
resist any kind of 'Grand Bargain' with Republicans in Congress that
involves cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, or
other safety-net programs.
The President has signaled that he is ready to cut Social Security,
Medicare, and Medicaid and by $650 billion and raise the eligibility
age for Medicare and Social Security in a deal with the GOP in order
to avoid the 'fiscal cliff'.
"Americans need more protection during a recession instead of less
protection. Democrats in the 1930s understood this and passed the
Social Security Act in 1937 during the Depression," said Starlene
Rankin, co-chair of the Green Party's Lavender Caucus.
"Instead of carving up these programs, President Obama should reduce
or eliminate the things that caused the deficit -- the Bush-era tax
cuts for the wealthy, the bloated military budget, and borrowing to
pay for the wars of the last decade. He should let the tax cuts
expire, bring the troops home from the wars, and cut military
spending. President Obama is already willing to end Bush's tax cuts
for the rich. He should announce that Wall Street caused the economic
crisis, therefore Wall Street should suffer 'austerity' instead of
working and poor Americans," said Ms. Rankin.
Greens said that cuts to these programs would force Americans to
invest more of their retirement money in the high-risk Wall Street
casino. Raising the eligibility age would mean "work till you die" for
many Americans, especially low-income working people, the poor,
Blacks, and others with statistically lower life expectancies.
The FY 2012 military budget is likely to top $700 billion (the highest
level since World War II), with $118 billion for the wars in
Afghanistan and Iraq and $19 billion for defense-related atomic energy
programs (
Greens have called for Congress to cancel further war spending and
have urged a halt to nuclear energy, as well as deep cuts for military
contracts. Veterans' benefits and services should be maintained.
"For decades, Republicans have wanted to privatize Social Security,
Medicare, and Medicaid as part of their intention to redistribute the
nation's wealth from working people to the One Percent, but they knew
they couldn't accomplish this on their own. Unless Americans can
persuade him otherwise, our reelected Democratic President is about to
fulfill the GOP agenda. The most vulnerable Americans -- the poor,
Blacks and other people of color, old people, those with medical
problems -- will be made to suffer so that the White House and
Congress can placate the rich," said Darryl! Moch, co-chair of the
Green Party of the United States.
"We encourage all Americans to speak out in defense of Social
Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. The worst thing that can happen is
for people who voted for President Obama's reelection to succumb to a
post-election 'Just let Obama take care it' mentality or to mainstream
media platitudes declaring that 'bipartisan compromise is always for
the best'. Such thinking killed the antiwar movement after Mr. Obama's
first victory in 2008. The looming Grand Bargain is proof that we
desperately need to get some Greens elected to Congress," added Mr.
President Obama has endorsed recommendations by his Bowles-Simpson
Fiscal Responsibility Commission to reduce Social Security. During his
October 3 debate, he signaled his agreement with Republican contender
Mitt Romney when he said "I suspect that on Social Security, we've got
a somewhat similar position."
Green presidential nominee Jill Stein strongly opposed the cuts and
offered the Green New Deal as a plan to stimulate the economy and
generate jobs for 25 million Americans
Greens agree with Dean Baker and other economists that a projected
Social Security shortfall in 20 or 30 years can be averted by a very
modest raise on the payments cap for the wealthy. The Green Party
supports expanding Medicare to cover all Americans, which would cut
health care spending by hundreds of billions of dollars and rein in
skyrocketing health-care costs.
See also:
"Green Party warns of a bipartisan attack on the social safety net for
working and poor Americans, urges a halt to looming cuts based on
sequestration and Social Security 'reform'"
Green Party press release, October 23, 2012
"Obama/GOP 'Grand Bargain' Threatens Medicare"
Healthcare-NOW!, November 12, 2012
"Green Party advances in state and local races on Election Day 2012"
Green Party press release, November 8, 2012
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