Newark's Deputy Mayor, Jerry Clifton, will speak about the hometown effects of federal budget decisions at the Newark Senior Center on Monday.
Offering an urgent send-off message to their two U.S. senators about the central role of revenue in resolving the "fiscal cliff" negotiations scheduled to begin in Congress the next day, concerned Delawareans will hold a press conference Veterans Day, Monday, November 12, 10:30 a.m., at the Newark Senior Center, 200 Whitechapel Drive in Newark.
Newark's Deputy Mayor, Jerry Clifton, will speak about the hometown effects of federal budget decisions. "When Washington fails to raise sufficient revenue to meet the nation's needs, state and local governments are left holding the bag," said Clifton, who is also a military veteran. "As a fiscal conservative, I know that higher taxes on the wealthy must be part of the solution to federal deficits."
The "fiscal cliff" refers to a trillion dollars of automatic federal tax and spending changes that will begin to kick in first thing next year—raising middle-class taxes while slashing funding for programs serving students, seniors, veterans and children, and likely dropping the economy into another steep recession—unless Washington successfully confronts its debt crisis before the stroke of midnight New Year's Eve. Delaware's two moderate senators, Tom Carper and Chris Coons, will be key participants in high-stakes budget negotiations aimed at avoiding the cliff; their constituents want them to know they support them in hammering out a deal with fairer taxes on the wealthy as a central component.
"Senators Carper and Coons stood up for the economy and the middle class in preliminary votes last summer," reported seniors' advocate Jean Williams, another speaker and former executive director of the Newark Senior Center where the press conference will take place. But that's not the end of the story, according to Ezra Temko, Delaware representative of Americans for Democratic Action (ADA), the nation's longest-established advocacy group for progressive values and sponsor of the press conference and associated campaign.
"The pressure to cave in to big-money special interests will be much greater in this upcoming special session," he noted. "We want the senators to know Delaware has their backs in continuing to do the right thing on fair taxes."
Specifically, activists stressed Carper and Coons should continue their support for allowing Bush-era tax cuts to expire on the top 2 percent of American households—those making over $250,000 a year—raising a trillion dollars over the next decade to reduce debt and strengthen middle-class programs like Medicare and education assistance. After the press conference, participants will deliver letters from concerned citizens to the senators' offices.
ADA's Delaware press conference and campaign is part of a nationwide effort by the coalition Americans for Tax Fairness, which this fall and winter is asking the important question "Who Pays?" to fix our fiscal crisis: the top 2 percent or America's middle class?