FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 20, 2012
Letters ask Rep. Wolf to prioritize low- and middle-income individuals and families (98 percent of Americans) over millionaires (the wealthiest two percent) in budget negotiations
Herndon – As the U.S. House of Representatives prepares to vote on a so-called "Plan B," constituents visited U.S. Congressman Frank Wolf's Herndon office Thursday afternoon to deliver 111 letters asking the representative to prioritize the low- and middle-income Virginians over millionaires in the fiscal cliff negotiations. The letters were gathered by community activists who went door-to-door in Congressman Wolf's district, including his very own neighborhood, to speak with constituents about what's at stake in the ongoing budget debate. The constituents are asking Congress to extend tax cuts for 98 percent of people and require the wealthy to pay their fair share by letting Bush tax cuts expire for the wealthiest two percent. The so-called "Plan B" would give tax cuts to the wealthy at the expense of working families.
"As one of the Congressman's constituents, I have appreciated his willingness to take a stand on important public issues in the face of strong opposition from his party," said Chip Taggart. "He did not sign the no tax pledge and, in fact, made a statement before Congress critical of those who did. And, he was one of only 38 Representatives who voted for a balanced approach to deficit reduction based on the Simpson-Bowles Commission recommendations. I urge Congressman Wolf to maintain his commitment to a comprehensive approach to deficit reduction that also supports economic growth and strengthens the middle class. To this end I urge him to vote against the measures being introduced in the House today, since they fall far short of that goal."
If Congress fails to act by the end of the year, the average family will see their taxes go up by over $2,000. The House of Representatives has refused to vote on the Middle Class Tax Cut Act, which would extend tax cuts for 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small businesses. By refusing to vote on this measure, Congress is holding low- and middle-income earners hostage to give tax breaks to the wealthiest two percent of Americans.
Jalmeen Soni helped deliver the letters. She said, "I see all of the kids who are looking for jobs right now, and if we go over the cliff, it will make it even harder for them. Kids like my own who are struggling. Next year I will be on Medicare, and I am not the only one who is looking forward to that program. People who are less fortunate than me depend on Medicare, and other programs like food stamps and unemployment benefits and Social Security, all of which could be put on the chopping block."
The "Plan B" proposal would end unemployment insurance that 2 million Americans use to subsist in between jobs. It would eliminate tax cuts that 25 million Americans need by letting the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit, and the Opportunity Tax Credit all expire. And, it would save millionaires an average of $50,000 in taxes at the expense of important programs.
In the past month, Virginians have held rallies, town hall meetings, and house parties across Virginia in support of a fiscal cliff deal that puts low- and middle-income Virginians before millionaires and lets the Bush tax cuts for the top two percent expire. Events have been held in Reston, Vienna, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Richmond, Charlottesville, Staunton, Harrisonburg, Danville, and Lynchburg.
Virginia Organizing is one of over 150 national, state and local organizations that are part of The Action – a grassroots movement calling for the end of the Bush-era tax breaks for the richest 2 percent that have for too long shortchanged critical investments that create and sustain jobs.
Virginia Organizing is a statewide grassroots organization that brings people together to create a more just Virginia.