Yesterday morning in Washington D.C., the Alliance for a Just Society helped crash a swanky fundraising event where Senator John Kyl was trawling for cash from corporate bigwigs. Kyl sits on the congressional joint committee tasked with reducing the federal deficit. While Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security hang in the balance, corporations and the one percent continue are counting on Kyl and the other “supercommittee” members to protect their outsized tax breaks.
At the fundraiser, we delivered a wake-up call, filling it up with real people who count on the federal safety net for their lives and their livelihood. They shared their stories with Senator Kyl and let him know that they expected Congress to represent the people and not Wall Street.
Later that morning, hundreds joined Senators Bernie Sanders, Barbara Mikulski, and Ben Cardin and Representative Rosa DeLauro for a town hall event held right in the Senate, with everyday people from across the country explaining why Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are so important to them. Senator Sanders reminded the supercommittee that this safety net didn’t cause the deficit – that was the work of two unpaid-for wars, tax breaks for the richest among us, and the greedy, reckless, and illegal behavior of the big banks.
If this is what caused our economic crisis and our federal deficit, why is Congress gunning for the 99 percent as it hammers out a deficit-cutting deal? Every day the halls of the Senate are flooded with corporate lobbyists, Senator Sanders told the crowd. Real people need to remind our lawmakers that, as Senator Sanders reminded us, “No deal is better than a bad deal.”