Repealing The Sequester Is The Real Balanced Approach

Isaiah J. Poole

After President Obama called on Congress today to postpone the deep across-the-board federal spending cuts set to kick in on March 1 in the so-called sequester, Campaign for America’s Future co-director Robert Borosage responded by declaring that the sequester “should be repealed, not postponed.”

Meanwhile, the Congressional Progressive Caucus today unveiled its legislation to repeal and replace the sequester, called “The Balancing Act.” According to a Caucus news release, the legislation “achieves a fair and balanced approach to long-term deficit reduction and creates 1 million jobs all over the country. … The Balancing Act brings relief to working Americans by making sure the Pentagon and the nation’s biggest corporations pitch in and do their part to get our economy working again.”

The Caucus initiative is in line with our campaign to “disarm the austerity bomb and repeal the sequester.” We are sending tens of thousands of messages to members of Congress. Click here to send your message.

As Borosage said in this statement this afternoon, “The sequester irresponsibly will cost over one million jobs and impede an already faltering recovery. It should be repealed, not postponed. Congress should turn its attention to jobs and growth, not to more austerity.”

“The entire debate is upside down. America has a jobs crisis, not a budget crisis. The deficit is not out of control; it is already down 25 percent in relation to the economy, and falling faster than anytime since the demobilization at the end of World War II. The across the board cuts of the sequester are a ridiculous way to approach a budget. We need to fix the economy, not fix the debt. And you can’t fix the economy by focusing on fixing the debt. It is time to invest in America’s future, not strangle the weak recovery we now have,” said Borosage.

The two co-chairs of the Progressive Caucus echoed this message this afternoon.

“Almost $2 trillion has been cut over the past two years from teachers, firefighters, police officers, loans for college students, and infrastructure investments,” said Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn. said. “The American people shouldn’t continue to pay the price for massive tax breaks for millionaires and billions of dollars in subsidies to oil companies.”

“We’ve cut non-defense budgets to the bone. There are simply no major savings hiding in school lunch or nurse training programs,” said Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz. “We need investments. The Beltway refusal to make job creation our number one priority is a scandal, and the Balancing Act is the right way to fix it.”

The Balancing Act equalizes budget cuts and revenue by closing loopholes for America’s wealthiest individuals and corporations, raising $960 billion in revenue. It also creates over 1 million jobs by investing in infrastructure,
teachers, and putting money in consumers’ pockets, paid for by cutting wasteful Pentagon spending to achieve balance with non-defense cuts.

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