Last week, I attended a rally/press conference at Portland's City Hall put on by the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) to discuss the devastating consequences this country will face if Congress goes through with their budget reconciliation process. If approved, the reconciliation would work in two ways. First, roughly $35 billion dollars would be cut from federal programs including Medicaid, which provides health care to children, the elderly and people with disabilities, Food Stamps, education and housing. Second, taxes would be cut by $7o billion, mostly coming from the wealthy and large corporations.
Why, the need for all these cuts you might ask? Ironically, the Administration is advising these cuts to offset the costs of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita - but aren't the victims of these hurricanes the ones who need these federal programs the most?
AFSCME brought in two survivors from Hurricane Rita to discuss the impact these cuts would have on their lives personally. In tears, one of the survivors asked why the government would choose to kick them while they are already down. If these cuts pass not only would survivors of Hurricane Katrina and Rita be affected, but people all across the country-families, single mothers, workers, children, the elderly- will feel the consequences.
I urge you to contact Senator Snowe and Senator Collins and ask them oppose these huge cuts to programs that benefit Mainers.