The Coastal Post - August, 1997

Balanced Budget Plan Unfair

With the Republican tax cut and balanced budget plan, Congress begins a process of fundamentally rearranging the priorities of this country. It will step back from our commitments to seniors who need help with their health care, providing health insurance to uninsured children, and to help families pay for college. Why? In order to pay for a tax cut that overwhelmingly benefits upper-income Americas.

The Republican tax cut plan will allow profitable corporations to escape paying any income taxes. It will reduce taxes for heirs to the top two percent of America's wealthiest estates. And it will give families earning over $300,000 per year a tax cut of $27,000.

How exactly are these tax cuts paid for?

by slapping new charges for home health care on the oldest and sickest seniors;

by failing to provide health coverage for 95% of America's uninsured children;

by putting Medicare further out of reach for retiring seniors, at a time when employer cutbacks have made people in the 55-65 year-old age range the faster-growing group of uninsured;

by creating loopholes for managed care companies to circumvent new state laws that protect health care consumers;

and by cutting back on the commitment we made to help families pay for college.

Let's be clear: both Democrats and Republicans favor a balanced budget and relief for taxpayers. The problem is that the Republican plan puts the burden of providing tax relief for the rich on the middle and working class families by cutting their benefits and minimizing their tax cuts.

Every American should be outraged by this rearrangement of our priorities. The choice could not be clearer. Will you vote for the smallest number of people with the greatest amount of money-those who already own their homes, have two or more cars, have health insurance, take nice vacations, and generally live the good life-or will you vote for the majority of Americans who are struggling to achieve the dream-families that work hard and play by the rules, but still find that it is hard to pay the rent or mortgage, hard or impossible to pay for health insurance, afford a good education for their kids, and take an occasional vacation?

- Rep. George Miller (D-Martinez)