NHLA Proposal To Supercommittee Achieves Over $1.5 Trillion in Deficit Reduction Without Slashing Programs Vital To Economic Recovery
Letter to Deficit Reduction Committee members urges safeguarding Social Security, health, education, and other important programs, while reducing the deficit through defense cuts and increased revenue
WASHINGTON, DC - The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA), a coalition of the 30 leading Hispanic organizations in the United States, today released a letter to members of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction proposing over $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction over the next 10 years. The NHLA recommends protecting programs that the most vulnerable rely on and that invest in our future economic strength, while also achieving significant deficit reduction through the defense cuts proposed by the Simpson-Bowles Commission and allowing the 2001-2003 tax cuts for higher income earners to expire.
“The Hispanic community was among those hit hardest by the Great Recession, suffering higher-than-average levels of unemployment and the greatest loss in median wealth since 2005,” wrote Lillian Rodríguez López, chair of NHLA, in the letter. “It is therefore important to NHLA and America’s 50 million Latinos that the Joint Select Committee takes a balanced approach to deficit reduction. We understand that the deficit must be reduced for the long-term economic health of the nation. However, it would be unfair and reckless to rely mainly on cuts to programs that serve the most vulnerable in society.”
The letter urges no additional cuts to non-defense discretionary spending, which was already cut and placed under severe caps by the Budget Control Act. Further cuts would only weaken our economy and job creation, slowing the recovery of the Hispanic community which was among those hit hardest by the Great Recession. Additionally, while NHLA recognizes the need to restructure mandatory spending programs such as Social Security and Medicaid, it asserts that reforms should seek to strengthen those programs, not raid them for deficit reduction.
To achieve needed deficit reduction, NHLA recommends that the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction adopt recommendations by the Simpson-Bowles Commission and the Rivlin-Domenici Debt Reduction Task Force to cut $1 trillion in defense spending over 10 years. The organization also recommends three revenue increases: allowing the 2001-2003 tax cuts for high incomes to expire, ending subsidies for the oil, gas, and agricultural industries, and expanding sales of spectrum at auction.