Several Senate Democrats, led by newly reelected Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, have launched a public petition urging President Obama not to accept cuts to Medicare or Social Security as part of any deal to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff.
Saying that fellow Democratic Sens. Tom Harkin of Iowa and Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia were part of the effort, Brown emailed supporters Friday to ask that they sign the online petition.
“Any discussion of federal money and budgets is inevitably a discussion of priorities. The so-called ‘fiscal cliff’ negotiation is no different,” Brown says. “In the last election, the American people made themselves abundantly clear about their top priorities moving forward: Economic growth, job creation, and protecting middle class families everywhere.
“So there are a few things the President should do in the ongoing ‘fiscal cliff’ negotiations. He should buckle down and work toward a resolution that protects Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security,” Brown adds. “He, and all of us with him, should buckle up for what could be a drawn out battle to protect the middle class families that count on our leadership. But what the President cannot do is accept a “solution” that puts the costs of deficit reduction on the backs of seniors and working families.“
In the fiscal debate President Obama is seeking tax rates on the wealthiest Americans to rise next year. On the other side, GOP House Speaker John Boehner is seeking deep cuts to federal spending, which includes Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
“It comes as no surprise that the other side is once again threatening to hold Medicare, Social Security, and middle class tax cuts hostage to tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires. But our path forward is clear. Either we reach an equitable agreement that makes reasonable and appropriate spending cuts, raises revenues modestly for those who have prospered greatly, and protects the middle class, or we don’t make an agreement at all,” Brown says.
“A solution that shifts costs to middle class Americans and fails to focus on job growth and fixing holes in our tax code is not a solution. The President should reject any deal that cuts Medicare or Social Security. The President should reject a deal that extends Bush era tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans. And the President needs to know that we are with him in taking a strong stand for middle class Americans in these negotiations,” Brown adds.