Rep. John Lewis Condemns Reported Super Committee Trillion Dollar Cuts
"If these reports of massive cuts to Medicaid and Medicare are true, I will do everything in my power to stand against them. I will join forces with my colleagues and do all I can to defeat them. The people of this country are looking for fairness. They are sitting in and sitting down to protest the unwillingness of government to legislate with their best interests in mind. These proposals rob from the poor, the sick and the elderly, the very least among us.
"A recent Congressional Budget Office report released yesterday shows that after tax income for the top 1 percent of Americans has grown by 275 percent in the last 30 years. But for the middle 60 percent of Americans, after tax income grew by a little more than 1 percent per year over the same time period, and those increases were no doubt eaten up by a greater increase in inflation. This report also shows that the top fifth of America's most affluent earn more than the rest of Americans combined. The CBO report was commissioned by a leading member of the supercommittee, and it clearly states that tax policy has a much less equalizing affect today than it did in 1979.
"These figures are not chips on a board or numbers in a book. We are playing with the future of our citizens whose lives depend on the viability of Medicaid and Medicare. They are already struggling to keep up, and these proposals would make it almost impossible for them to recover from financial distress.
"Cutting Medicare and Medicaid in this drastic way is a moral outrage. How much more must the elderly, the sick, and the poor sacrifice to protect tax breaks for the rich? What does it say about our values as a nation that we believe we must turn our backs on the least among us, while we defend tax breaks for millionaires and spend $2 billion dollars a week in Afghanistan? The federal government made a commitment to the people of this nation, and we should do everything we can to keep that commitment. If these proposals do make it to the floor of the House or pass through the Ways & Means Committee, of which I am a senior member, I will do everything in my power to highlight this moral injustice and stand against any attempt to betray the trust of the people of this nation."
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