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Fiscal Cliff Deal Only the Beginning

Posted Jan 02 2013 at 12:32 PM
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ADA believes the New Year’s fiscal cliff deal is only the start of the work still needed to be done on revenue and budget items.

Americans have been very clear the wealthiest Americans should pay their fair share of taxes. The deal approved by Congress fulfilled President Obama’s campaign promise to make the Bush era tax cuts permanent for households making $250,000 or less. Republicans joining Democrats in letting tax rates increase for the wealthiest Americans is a good step forward. The fiscal cliff deal will raise $620 billion from wealthy Americans. However, the deal came up short in fairness and in raising adequate revenue through its protection of households making between $250,000 and $450,000 from expiring tax cuts and by not sufficiently strengthening the estate tax to affect at least 3 out of 1,000 estates held by the super-rich. Congress will need to raise additional revenue to protect our economy as well as programs and services that benefit our society.

For now, the deal left critical safety-net programs intact. Social Security should not have been on the table as part of this deal and we are glad to see that it, along with Medicare and Medicaid, were protected at this stage. Sequestration, including its across-the-board cuts to education and other important programs, was postponed two months. These cuts are unfortunately still looming in the near future as is a potential fight over raising the debt ceiling.

We have more work to do. ADA will continue to organize and educate to secure more revenue for critical programs by ensuring that everyone pays their fair share, to prevent devastating cuts to programs such as Medicaid and education, and to protect Social Security and Medicare for current and future beneficiaries.

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