Meeting with Senator Kerry's Staff to Advocate for Economic Fairness
On Friday, October 28, 2011, members of the Cambridge-Somerville for Change Economic Fairness team met with Senator John Kerry’s Boston policy advisors, Meghan Leahy and Stephen Meunier, in Kerry’s Boston office.
CSfC members discussed Sen. Kerry’s role in the Congressional Deficit Super Committee. Sen. Kerry is one of the twelve legislators assigned to the Deficit Super Committee, whose task is to reduce the federal deficit by $1.2 trillion over the next ten years.
|CSfC Members and Sen. Kerry's Staff|
We delivered 281 signed postcards, written by Massachusetts citizens addressed to Senator John Kerry urging him to address their concerns in his efforts on the Super Committee.
CSfC is asking Senator Kerry to remain faithful to basic progressive principles, despite the opposition he may face. We expressed our concerns and urged him to stand firm on these key goals:
- There should be no significant cuts to benefits in key social programs (i.e.
- Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and other benefits) or spending on education.
- 50% or more of the total package should come from increased revenues that would improve tax fairness by increasing taxes on wealthy people and corporations.
Any proposal that does not meet these principles should be opposed.
Although we felt that we made a fine presentation and had a lively discussion, Kerry’s staff members were unable to describe any of Sen. Kerry’s or other Super Committee members’ specific positions, because of a confidentiality agreement with the Committee. Thanks to persistent questioning, we learned that Kerry keenly felt the importance of an agreement being reached, even at the expense of compromising on key goals.
|Senator Kerry's staff review cards from Massachusetts voters|
We expressed our dismay that such an agreement would likely be worse than the automatic cuts that will result from Congress taking no action. The automatic cuts require that 50% of any cuts come from the military and security budget areas, and, if Congress does not act, the Bush era tax cuts will expire at then end of 2012, resulting in a much lower deficit. These two facts mean that credit rating agencies are not likely to lower the US credit rating if the Super-Committee does not reach agreement.
We will continue to collect postcard statements from concerned citizens of Massachusetts and meet with Kerry’s staff again this fall. You can review and print out the post-card yourself.
We urge CSFC members and friends to contact Senator Kerry independently, urging him not to compromise on the key goals. You can call Sen. Kerry at (617) 565-8519 or email him using the web form at kerry.senate.gov.