Congratulations Mr. President, Now…Can We Have a Word?
The following is an open letter from Ron Sider, President of Evangelicals for Social Action, to President Obama. Please take one minute to send the same message to the President and your representatives in Washington, D.C. You can use this text or your own!
Congratulations President Obama on your election to a second term.
You are already wrestling with the "perfect storm" of events that converge this January: all the Bush era tax cuts expire; your important expansions in 2009 of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Care Tax Credit expire; additional weeks of federally funded unemployment insurance expire. And for the sake of economic prosperity and justice for our grandchildren, we must reduce ongoing federal deficits.
But we dare not balance the budget on the backs of the poor. You did not talk about the poor in the campaign, but we believe you care and know that God measures societies by what they do to the poor. A revitalized, expanded Circle of Protection intends to mobilize Christians and others to demand that the legislation that you negotiate with the Congress in December/January not cut vital, successful programs that left millions of Americans out of poverty.
Specifically, I urge you:
- retain the 2009 expansions of the EITC and Child Tax Credit;
- retain present levels of funding for foreign economic aid
- improve and expand, not cut healthcare coverage (Medicaid) for poor Americans;
- insist that the richest Americans pay more income tax rather than receive another tax cut;
- reduce the military budget, at least modestly;
- insist on and negotiate a long term substantial reduction of the federal budget deficit and do that by both cutting expenditures and increasing revenue.
Please use your brilliant oratory skills to help the American people see the economic wisdom and biblical justice of this approach. I promise to work hard to mobilize widespread support for these policies.
Ron Sider, President
Evangelicals for Social Action