Thanks to congressional Republicans holding the economy hostage during the debt ceiling debacle in the summer of 2011, a package of automatic, across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration is set to go into effect on January 2, 2013. At the same time, the Bush-era tax cuts and a number of other tax breaks will expire, meaning that a massive fiscal retrenchment will occur unless Congress and President Barack Obama reach an agreement to forestall the spending cuts and tax hikes. The president has proposed a balanced approach to resolve this crisis, asking the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share, but congressional Republicans are again playing the hostage game, risking massive and harmful spending cuts and across-the-board tax increases in order to protect tax cuts for the rich.
Sequestration will impact all Americans, particularly communities of color. Many Americans are still recovering from the Great Recession of 2007–2009, and economically we are at a time when investment in growing communities is necessary and preserving middle-class tax cuts is crucial. The majority of Americans agree that higher taxes on the wealthy are necessary to pay for programs that benefit the most vulnerable Americans.
Our demographics are changing and communities of color are the fastest-growing group of Americans. It’s important that we invest now in these communities as they are our nation’s future workforce.
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