Unfinished Business

Fiscal Cliff Puts Impoverished Families, Youth, and Our Nation’s Future at Risk

Time is running short for Congress to pass a budget deal that could drive our nation toward a future of growth and prosperity rather than drive us over a proverbial cliff. The package of tax increases and spending cuts known as the “fiscal cliff” takes effect on January 1, 2013, unless Congress passes a budget deal by then. It is called a cliff in part because economists have warned about the combination of $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts agreed to as part of the Budget Control Act in 2011 coupled with expiring tax cuts that would result in the average household paying about $2000 more in taxes each year.  If that happens, economists worry that it could result in a double-dip recession.

An investment in working families and the next generation of human capital is an investment in America’s future. Refundable tax credits for working families such as the earned income and child tax credits helped lift 8.7 million people out of poverty in 2011. Programs like supplemental nutrition assistance, Head Start, Pell Grants, and unemployment insurance are all at risk of severe cuts. These are programs that would reflect an investment in our nation’s youth.  For more details, watch the Half in Ten campaign’s video below, “Making the Right Choices for Shared Prosperity:”

Young people around the country have been speaking out on the fiscal showdown. Check out this roundup of blog posts and see what it means to them.