Politics might not be on the Thanksgiving menu, but when families and friends gather, it seems to be a side dish some of us are force fed.
We want to give you something to be thankful for by making sure you're prepared to talk about what women and families have at stake in the economy and the truth about what happened with the super-committee. Remember that the super-committee was a special committee of Members of Congress created to come up with a plan to reduce the federal deficit over the next decade.
Last night, the super-committee announced that it did not reach agreement on a deficit reduction plan. To explain what this means for you — and Aunt Edith — below are a few key myths and facts.
MYTH: It would have been better if the super-committee reached a deal.
FACT: No deal is better than a bad deal — and we were headed toward a bad deal. The fact that some members of the super-committee felt a strong enough obligation to protect the programs that women and families depend on is incredibly important. Had key safety net programs like Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare been cut in a last-minute deal, the damage could have been irreparable. For more info, check out our latest blog post: Five Reasons Why No Deal is Better than a Bad Deal.
MYTH: I heard Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare will automatically be cut.
FACT: The automatic cuts do not reach Social Security, Medicaid, or many other programs for low-income Americans. Any Medicare cuts would affect payments to providers, not beneficiaries. The automatic cuts that are scheduled would affect defense and non-defense programs equally. Unfortunately, discretionary programs that specifically serve low-income people are not exempt. However, the cuts won't start to take effect until 2013, so Congress has time make changes through the regular legislative process.
MYTH: The super-committee didn't reach a deal and important programs were protected — so our advocacy worked! We don't need to worry anymore.
FACT: We still have lots to do. We need to work to extend federal emergency unemployment benefit programs and pass job creation measures. We need to fund the government through the rest of this fiscal year, without strings attached that limit women's rights. And the fight to make millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share and to protect Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, and other vital programs will continue. So enjoy, rest up — and join us next week.
This Thanksgiving, we could not be more grateful for the dedication of our network of activists like you, who took action to send emails and make phone calls throughout the super-committee's deliberations.
While the super-committee's work has ended, our work for a fair economy continues. We couldn't do it without you.