Today President Obama and top Congressional Leaders began to discuss compromises needed to reach an agreement between the White House and Congress for next year's budget. If an agreement between the two is not met by the end of the year, taxes on all Americans will increase.
"We have to make sure that taxes don't go up on the middle class, that the economy remains strong," the President told reporters. "That's an agenda that Democrats and Republicans and independents, people all across the country share. So our challenge is to make sure that we are able to cooperate together, work together, find some common ground, make some tough compromises, build some consensus to do the people's business."
In order to reduce the deficit, President Obama proposes allowing the existing tax cuts on the top two percent to expire while extending cuts for all with taxpayers with incomes below $250,000. To keep the tax cuts for the wealthiest two percent, House conservatives propose cutting federal programs such as Medicaid and Medicare. The stalemate over taxing the wealthy or cutting programs has taken tax cuts for the middle class hostage, and many of the tax cuts at stake disproportionately affect young, single women. According to a report [PDF] released earlier this year by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), women graduates only make 82 percent of the wages earned by their male counterparts one year after graduating from college. Increasing taxes for these women would have even harsher repercussions as they are already receiving lower wages than their male counterparts.
Media Resources: Christian Science Monitor 11/16/12; LA Times 11/16/12; New York Times 11/16/12; Washington Post 11/16/12; AAUW 2012
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .