Bill takes first step to balanced approach to deficit reduction and protecting working families
RALEIGH (January 8, 2013) – The North Carolina Justice Center released a letter this morning commending North Carolina’s federal delegation members who voted yes on last week’s fiscal cliff legislation.
The letter cites U.S. Representatives G.K. Butterfield (1st District), David Price (4th District), Mel Watt (12th District), Howard Coble (6th District), and U.S. Senators Richard Burr and Kay Hagan, who, with their votes, demonstrated support for middle class families and fiscal responsibility.
“While the deal was not perfect, the legislation enacted with your support takes an important first step in a balanced approach to putting our nation’s fiscal house, and perhaps most importantly, and it does so without sacrificing middle-class and working families,” the letter reads.
The recently-passed legislation offers support for these families by permanently extending tax cuts for 99.3% of the state’s residents, the letter said. The deal also makes several important contributions to the economic security of working and middle income families by extending Obama-era improvements to the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and American Opportunity Tax Credit. In addition, the deal extends Unemployment Insurance for almost 100,000 long-term unemployed workers.
Most economists agree that the U.S. needs to achieve about $4 trillion in deficit reduction over the next ten years in order to return the federal debt to sustainable levels relative to the size of the national economy. There is much work ahead to find the rest of the rest of the deficit reduction savings, the letter said, and to do so in a way that does not increase poverty and inequality.
“Without additional revenues, Congress will be forced to take a far more unbalanced approach to addressing the spending side of the ledger,” the letter reads. “While spending reductions are clearly necessary, a punitive, cuts-only approach will only serve to increase poverty and harm our economic growth, especially if spending cuts are front-loaded over the next several years of our fragile economic recovery. Ultimately, such an un-balanced approach will put in doubt the possibility of prosperity that is widely shared among all North Carolinians. I urge you to avoid this spending cuts-only path to deficit reduction.”
The full letters can be read below.
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