Take Action: The Senate will vote Thursday on legislation to prevent harmful cuts. Please tell your Senators to vote for the American Family Economic Protection Act, S. 388 and for more information on how your state would be affected by the cuts, see our state fact sheets.
In economics austerity is the policy of reducing government spending by cutting social services such as health care, education, food assistance, and other welfare assistance. At the federal level, Republicans and some Democrats seek austerity by cutting social Security and Medicare. Republicans also are insisting on massive budget cuts known as the sequester. By any name, these cuts are bad. In the case of state governments public tax money is used for police, fire fighters, park services, nurses, doctors, social workers and health assistants. State and local austerity efforts cut these services.
In the current economic crisis, the governments of Ireland, Greece, Italy, the UK, Spain and Portugal have implemented austerity programs and cut their budgets creating more unemployment and making the recessions in these countries worse.
While unemployment remains high and economic growth slow, government policy should not impose austerity measures which reduce essential public safety programs for the middle and working classes and that shred the social safety net for the most vulnerable. Rather, government policy should prioritize public investments in job creation, public education and healthcare reform, while raising essential revenues by taxing the large corporations and wealthiest citizens who can afford to pay.