Occupy Louisville and the Justice Resource Center are holding a demonstration at Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell’s office to protest against any domestic spending cuts as part of the fiscal cliff negotiations.
The negotiations in Washington to avoid the $607 billion combination of automatic spending cuts and tax increases continue with the end of the year deadline approaching.
This week the White House threatened to veto Speak John Boehner’s “plan B,” which includes raising tax rates on Americans making over $1 million annually. House Republicans argue their plan avoids tax hikes on most income earners, but the Obama administration says it doesn’t raise enough revenue and burdens the middle-class.
Ike Thacker is an Occupy Louisville spokesman. He says the groups oppose any cuts to social programs that help the poor and would prefer cuts to the defense department.
“The things that need to be cut are not social programs. We spend in the neighborhood of $20 to $30 billion on welfare and around $70 billion on food stamps, which means roughly speaking $100 billion. While we spend well over $1 trillion every year in one form or another on our military,” he says. “If we want to go where the spending is to do the spending cuts it does not need to be in social programs, but in the military.”
Thacker says the groups are targeting McConnell’s office because he has been a chief opponent of the president. But in a Senate floor speech Wednesday, McConnell put pressure on Mr. Obama, saying the president needs to accept the House GOP plan to permanently extend the Bush-era tax cuts.
“There’s still time to prevent further damage to the economy and to stop the automatic tax hike on every American that’s scheduled to go into effect at the beginning of the New Year,” he says. “The president has a real opportunity, the second in two years, to do something significant about our debt crisis and jumpstart our economy. He has a real opportunity to show he can govern. He’s letting that opportunity slip away.”
During a White House press conference, President Obama said that a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff can get done before January, but he reiterated that nothing can pass if both sides aren’t willing to compromise.
An Obama spokesman pointed out that the White House has made a “good faith effort” to compromise by proposing to keep the tax breaks for income-earners up to $400,000, which is higher than the initial $250,000 the president ran on during the campaign.
Occupy Louisville and the Justice Resource Center plan to demonstrate in front of McConnell’s Louisville office located at 6th and Broadway at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.