Reform Movement Tells Congress: Deficit Reduction Must Not Increase Poverty

Yesterday the Religious Action Center sent a letter to all Members of Congress urging them to protect the poor in any deficit reduction agreement. As the end of year approaches and we near the “fiscal cliff,” Members of Congress are meeting with increasing urgency to create a deal that would reduce the deficit, or produce a framework to do so, before January 1. People of faith across the nation are speaking out on the rapid pace of these negotiations and the potential harm they could cause the programs that help the poorest among us.

Any deficit reduction agreement must not increase poverty, especially in this time of economic recovery when those in poverty are most vulnerable. People living below or near the poverty line are particularly dependent on the tools provided by social safety net programs like SNAP and the Earned Income Tax Credit to help life themselves out of poverty.

In a letter to Congress, Rabbi David Saperstein wrote, “The Jewish tradition teaches that, ‘…If all the troubles of the world are assembled on one side and poverty is on the other, poverty would outweigh them all’ (Midrash Exodus Rabbah 31:12). Millions in our American community continue to struggle every day to meet even their own and their families’ most basic needs. This is morally intolerable in a nation of such great abundance and wealth.  Any deficit reduction agreement must not further increase poverty or inequality.”

Click here to read the rest of the letter.


Image courtesy of National Women’s Law Center.

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Raechel Banks

About Raechel Banks

Raechel Banks is an Eisendrath Legislative Assistant. She grew up in Dallas, TX, as a member of Temple Emanu-El. She recently graduated from Brandeis University.

3 Responses to “Reform Movement Tells Congress: Deficit Reduction Must Not Increase Poverty”

  1. Arnold J. Gendelman Reply December 14, 2012 at 11:48 am

    The entire debate is a puzzle. First step, incorporating of a State Right To Work employment system will reduce Union donations to the Democratic Party. Second, Capitalism is the only true voice of the people, as is Voting the only true Right.
    Diminish the power of either or both leaves the door open for the King (Corporate and Government) to emerge as the all and powerful rulersover the people. The old rule of leadership “Walk carefully….What was given to the people can never be taken away….if you take that away…the people will roll over you.” Meaning, the Fiscal Cliff is theirs not ours…if they push anything over with those lunatic reductional mandates as diminishing returns to the people, …i.t will not be us that goes down…but them, sooner than later.


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