As a matter of justice, fairness and effectiveness, steps taken to address the nation’s fiscal challenges should favor policies that will not exacerbate income inequality or increase poverty.
As lawmakers seek to keep our country from plunging into another economic and financial crisis, Congress must in the coming months make many tough decisions about spending and taxes. We must ensure that the millions of families across the country who are still struggling are not lost in this debate.
In 2010, more than 46.2 million people in the U.S. lived below the poverty line -- more than at any point during the five decades in which the U.S. Census Bureau has published poverty data. And sadly, the number of Americans living in poverty is projected to increase even more.
We acknowledge the need and support the effort to put America on a sustainable fiscal path. We must address the nation’s fiscal challenges now or we will suffer the consequences of failing to do so later. We understand that difficult choices will have to be made. But making difficult choices is not synonymous with making immoral choices.
The message is simple -- we are not asking for new measures or programs – we are simply asking Congress not to increase poverty while reducing the federal deficit.