FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 10, 2011
BUSINESS OWNERS, PHYSICIANS, CITIZENS CHALLENGE REPRESENTATIVES LATHAM AND KING TO SUPPORT MEDICARE & MEDICAID FOR SENIORS, MIDDLE-CLASS FAMILIES INSTEAD OF TAX BREAKS FOR SUPER-RICH & BIG
IOWA (June 10, 2011): Concerned constituents who currently reside in the 4th Congressional District and will be a part of the redistricted 4th CD next year held a conference call today to challenge Representative Latham and King’s support for the Republican budget
“Citizens of the 4th Congressional District are dismayed that they seem to be coming out of the frying pan with Rep. Latham and going into the fire with the possibility that Rep. King will be their representative after redistricting,” said Sue Dinsdale, Iowa Citizen Action Network Executive Director.
Recently, both Congressman Latham and King voted for the House Republican plan that does away with traditional Medicare and instead provides seniors with vouchers for a fixed-dollar amount to buy their insurance coverage on their own. The average Iowa senior would pay additional out-of-pocket costs of $5999.37, twice as much as they pay now according to a report by the U.S. Congress Join Economic Committee Chairman’s Staff.
“Tax Cuts. Tax Cuts. Tax Cuts. That’s all we have been hearing for the past 10 years. And where has that got us? It’s not a pretty picture,” said Chris Petersen, a family farmer from Clear Lake. “Family farmers, like Main Street small businesses, need markets, a place to sell their products, and the same regulations and safety nets that support the middle class and all working people such as access to affordable loans and secure communities . We need our Representatives to tell those big corporations that don’t want to pay their fair share of taxes that they need to invest in our communities or pay up rather than rewarding them!”
Natalie Dinsdale, the 26-year-old owner of Ta Dah! Salon in Ames said “It may not seem like a young person like me should be worried about things like Social Security and Medicare, but those programs don’t benefit only the elderly, people with disabilities, and children. They’re also an important economic factor, giving a boost to small businesses and local economies.” Dinsdale continued, “Small business owners don’t need tax cuts, we need customers.”
This week marks the 10th anniversary of the passage of the Bush Tax Cuts, which have added $2.6 trillion to the public debt. Rather than eliminating these tax cuts, which mostly went to people making more than $645,000 a year the Republican budget aims to achieve $4.5 trillion in savings by cutting services and programs that primarily benefit the middle class. Of that amount, $4.2 trillion is used to fund more tax cuts to the richest individuals and companies rather than actual deficit reduction.
“I am a professor at Iowa State University and a father of three children who are all currently enrolled at state colleges,” said Tom Harrington of Ames. “Congress should celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Bush era tax cuts for the rich by ending them and using the money to invest in American families. Instead of cuts in student aid proposed in the Ryan budget – a plan that both Representatives Latham and King voted for — Congress could use the money from the tax cuts in the rich to make college more affordable.”
Harrington went on to say, “Tom Latham has shown some token support for ISU, but his vote for the Ryan Budget shows what his real priorities are. And I doubt that Steve King even cares about Iowa State University.”
The Republican plan, supported by Latham and King, would push many seniors and people with disabilities out of nursing homes. This plan would make dramatic and unfair cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and other middle-class programs to pay for new tax breaks for millionaires, Big Oil, huge corporations and their rich CEOs.
“I am a physician practicing at the McFarland Clinic in Ames and I also see patients in several counties including: Calhoun, Webster and Hardin,” said Dr. Selden Spencer of Huxley. “I can personally vouch that Medicare and Medicaid are vital programs for my patients.”
Spencer continued, “The Ryan budget that Representatives Latham and King have voted for turns Medicare into a voucher system and Medicaid into a block grant to the states. I can tell you that this just flat out is not going to work. A change of this sort to these programs would cause extreme difficulty – if not outright tragedy – for Iowa’s children and our disabled and elderly populations.”
“It’s time to blow the whistle on politicians and lobbyists who hide behind fake small business arguments to push their agenda of cutting taxes for corporations and the rich while cutting the quality of life for all citizens,” concluded Sue Dinsdale of ICAN. “It’s hard to understand why Latham and King would put this huge burden on middle-class families and the state. What we need is a balanced approach to reducing the deficit, not proposals that force seniors, the sickest people and the middle class to make all the sacrifices while the super-rich and corporations continue to profit from loopholes and lavish tax breaks.”