Bush Administration Uncovers "Pot of Gold" for War and Wealth; Leaves Little for Struggling Families
January 7, 2003
Statement of NOW President Kim Gandy
The President's "jobs and growth package" will grow only one thingthe wealth of the top 5% of Americans and the profits of the Fortune 500. Jobs will be lost, not increased or enhanced, if the administration's proposed $670 billion "stimulus" passes the Republican-stacked Congress.
Nearly a million people lost their unemployment benefits at the end of 2002, and they are finding little left of the safety net. Almost 50 million individuals will soon have no health insurance, as more and more employers hire part-time and temporary workers because they simply cannot afford the skyrocketing costs of providing health care coverage for working families.
One Republican staffer warned critics of Bush's plan that there is "no pot of gold" to support the demand for better schools and social programs. Yet Bush and company apparently can find the money to build up for an invasion of Iraq and to provide rebates and reduced taxes to their affluent cronies and political supporters.
Well, there is a pot of gold. It's called the U.S. Treasury and it is filled by taxpayers to (as the Constitution says) "provide for the common defense" and "promote the general welfare." Our leaders keep forgetting that last part. Currently the Treasury is being raided by a privileged few and being used to grease the war machinery at the expense of basic human needs. Women and children will be the first to suffer as this fiscal irresponsibility drives our nation deeper and deeper into debt.
While the Democrats' plan is an improvement, it is not ideal. Real economic stimulus must include reforming unemployment insurance to cover more workers, especially part-time and temporary workers; extending benefits and giving them directly to the unemployed (not block-granting to the states, creating another level of bureaucracy); stopping the welfare time clock; and rejecting any tax breaks that are not directly tied to new investments and job creation.
Housing, decent jobs, childcare, health care, safe schools and violence-free communities are vital to the well being of our families and the future of our nation. It is dishonorable to shortchange our families and shameful to send our children the bill.
###For Immediate Release
Contact: Press Office 202-628-8669, ext. 116, mobile 301-537-7429
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