Deficit Commission Proposal of Co-Chairs Targets Women Statement of Eleanor Smeal, President of Feminist Majority
The Feminist Majority joins its many sister organizations that are outraged at the Deficit Commission Co-Chairs in denouncing their proposal.
This proposal would be a poor joke if it was not so cruel to the elderly, the working poor, and the majority of working women. The proposal targets programs for cuts, such as Social Security, the earned income tax credit, and the child tax credit, in which the majority of recipients are women and programs that women, especially elderly women, desperately need. It caps spousal benefits (mostly going to women) at one-half of average workers' benefits - not necessarily their spouses' benefits as it is now. It freezes the pay of the civilian Department of Defense employees (the majority of which are women) and of so-called non-combat military forces (i.e women). Even insisting students pay interest on student loans while they are in college hits young women more than men since men are less dependent than women on college loans for their education.
Social Security has not caused the deficit problem. In fact, Social Security has accumulated a massive surplus. According to the Institute for Women's Policy Research, "To prepare for the retirement of the baby boom, Social Security system has accumulated a surplus of $2.6 trillion (in 2010)." The U.S. cannot balance its books on the backs of older women, the disabled, and the middle class while it provides tax cuts and tax breaks to the super rich and to mega, multinational corporations.
Most of its suggestions are to reduce spending rather than to increase revenue as it places the burden on middle-class Americans, especially women, and protects the skyrocketing profits of the richest Americans. Obvious solutions such as raising the cap on FICA or Social Security withholding tax to include more of the income of the highest paid Americans (i.e. mostly men) was not suggested. The proposal rejects the basic principles of a progressive income tax, which is the staple of a fair or just taxation system and it reduces corporate income taxes yet again.
1/23/2015 #HeForShe Campaign Launches Pilot Effort Aimed at Institutional Equality - The United Nations' gender equality campaign #HeForShe has launched a new program called IMPACT 10X10X10.
United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson, together with UN Women Executive DirectorPhumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, introduced the one-year pilot effort aimed at encouraging corporations, universities, and governments to play an active role in enhancing women's empowerment and equality in Davos, Switzerland today at the World Economic Forum.
"Women need to be equal participants in our homes, societies, in our governments, and in our workplaces," Watson said.
First introduced in September, HeForShe is a solidarity movement that calls on men and boys to confront gender inequalities that face women and girls globally. . . .
1/22/2015 BREAKING: House to Vote on Abortion Coverage Ban - After they were forced to scrap plans for a 20-week abortion ban, House Republican leaders decided late last night to instead ram through a vote today on a different extreme anti-abortion bill.
House Republicans are now pushing HR 7, a bill promoted as a ban on federal funding of abortion that would actually prevent women from using their own money to purchase health insurance that includes abortion care. . . .
1/22/2015 House Cancels Abortion Ban After GOP Congresswomen Drop Support - House Republicans cancelled plans to vote on a 20-week ban on abortion after Republican Congresswomen removed their names publicly as co-sponsors of the bill.
The vote on the unconstitutional 20-week ban had originally been scheduled for today, the anniversary of Roe v. . . .