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The Budget Timeline: How does the federal budget process work? 1.President’s Budget Request 2.Congressional Budget Resolution (blueprint) 3.Appropriations.

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Presentation on theme: "The Budget Timeline: How does the federal budget process work? 1.President’s Budget Request 2.Congressional Budget Resolution (blueprint) 3.Appropriations."— Presentation transcript:

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2 The Budget Timeline: How does the federal budget process work? 1.President’s Budget Request 2.Congressional Budget Resolution (blueprint) 3.Appropriations 4.Debt Ceiling 5.Other Budget Bills (deficit reduction, entitlement programs, taxes)

3 Budget Basics: Types of Budget Laws Does not require annual revision Individual provisions may expire, but tax code is permanent Tax law Funding for mandatory programs Programs can be permanent or require periodic reauthorization Entitlement law Funding for discretionary programs Must be completed each year Annual Appropriations

4 Budget Myths and Realities: Myth: Our deficits don’t matter. Reality: The long-term fiscal outlook is of serious concern. Myth: Our current deficits are so out of control that we must address them immediately with painful spending cuts. Reality: Our immediate focus must be on strengthening the economy and creating jobs.

5 Budget Myths and Realities: Myth: Government spending is out of control. Reality: The 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the recession itself are why we see high deficits today. Reality: The real threat is the long-term structural imbalance between spending and revenues. –Rising health care costs –Aging population –Insufficient revenues.

6 Budget Basics: Where do our federal tax dollars go? Programs for low-income families are a fraction of government spending. They have played virtually no role in creating our deficits. Non-security discretionary spending is just 12% of the budget. 1/3 of non-security discretionary spending goes to state and local governments.

7 Facing the Budget Threats And Finding Opportunities

8 The Stakes Are Higher Than Ever Before “I’m concerned that everything I’ve worked on since I came to Washington in 1972 could be destroyed.” -Robert Greenstein, President, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities “The House Budget Committee’s Budget Resolution would do more damage to America’s families and America’s economic prospects than anything the Coalition on Human Needs has seen in its 30-year existence.” –Debbie Weinstein, Executive Director, Coalition on Human Needs

9 Reducing Deficits and Poverty: We don’t need to choose between the two We need to address deficits. Ending poverty and hunger requires government action. Anti-poverty programs have had a powerful impact. Programs don’t work without funding.

10 Where do things stand? FY 2011 (just resolved mid-way through) FY 2012 (just beginning) Debt Ceiling (May- early July) Comprehensive Deficit Reduction

11 Pushing back: repeated threats to anti-poverty programs HR 1 Congressman Ryan’s budget proposal Global spending cap Debt ceiling increase

12 Recent Proposals More than 8 million adults and youth would lose access to job training and other employment services. 10,000 low-income veterans would not receive assistance to avoid homelessness. 9.4 million low-income college students would lose all or some of their Pell grant. 81,000 people—mostly vulnerable seniors—would lose access to the nutritious food baskets they receive through the Commodity Supplemental Food Program. 10,000 people with serious long- term disabilities would lose their rental assistance through the Section 811 voucher program. Most would lose their homes. 218,000 low-income children would lose Head Start services.

13 Ryan’s Budget 2/3 of cuts are low-income programs $4.3 trillion spending cuts pay for $4.2 trillion tax cuts Creates block grants for programs like SNAP (food stamps) and Medicaid, which would prevent them from responding in periods of high need. Most of the federal government aside from Social Security, health care, and defense would cease to exist by 2050.

14 Who’s in Your Circle of Protection? $8.9 billion: low-income housing programs $7.6 billion: supplemental nutrition for poor families (WIC) $2.5 billion: Low-Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP) grants to poor families $2 billion: Homeless assistance grants $8.9 billion: cost of allowing mortgage interest deduction for vacation homes $6.7 billion: cost of estate planning techniques used to avoid taxes $2.5 billion: cost of tax breaks for oil companies (write-offs for drilling and oil well costs) $2.3 billion: cost of tax loopholes for managers of hedge funds and private equity funds

15 Bringing it Home: The impact on your state and local governments 1/3 of non-security discretionary spending goes to state and local governments Unemployment up. Fewer people spend money. Businesses suffer. Greater need for government services. Less revenues. States can’t run deficits. The federal government can.

16 Global Spending Cap Limits all federal spending (share of the economy) Keeps programs from growing Entitlement programs structured to grow when there’s more need Similar to balanced budget amendment

17 Global Spending Cap This is not 1970 –Baby boomers –Health care costs –Iraq and Afghanistan veterans’ benefits –Homeland security Forces draconian cuts (Medicaid and SNAP block grant) Responding to recessions and emergencies

18 Capping Spending = Higher Out of Pocket Costs

19 The Debt Ceiling Must-do item –Government’s credit limit –Full faith and credit of U.S. Government –Dangerous consequences on global economy Leverage Demanding huge changes that will force enormous cuts

20 The Gang of Six Serious Bipartisan Comprehensive proposal Moving intensely and quickly Based on Fiscal Commission’s recommendations

21 Balanced and Responsible Deficit Reduction: Protect low-income programs from cuts Everything must be on the table, including revenues and military spending Balance spending cuts with revenues Slow the growth of health care costs system-wide Annual caps on discretionary spending (ONLY if part of a comprehensive bill)

22 Historical Precedent: Protecting the Poor in Deficit Reduction Gramm-Rudman Act 1990 Budget Enforcement Act (and expanded EITC) 1993 deficit reduction (expanded the EITC and SNAP) 1997 deficit reduction (created the Children’s Health Insurance Program) Statutory Paygo Act of 2010

23 What will it take to reduce our deficits Math Look to all areas of the budget Tough choices Bipartisanship Your voice

24 Get fired up!

25 What can I do?

26 “How can I make my voice heard?” Organize a meeting with your Member of Congress during the Congressional recess: Apr 16 - May 1 (NCJW) Letter to Congress from faith leaders in your community (NCC) Letters to the editor from people in your congregation (Network) Public Prayer vigil (let media and members of congress know!) (NCC) Organize your own workshop like this one using this powerpoint as a blueprint, or games like this (MCC) Action alerts in your community (AFSC) Sunday service additions (UCC prayers) Collect and share stories template (JCPA) Learn more! (CBPP, CHN, etc)

27 “How can I make my voice heard?” Organize a meeting with your Member of Congress during the Congressional recess: Apr 16 - May 1 (NCJW) Letter to Congress from faith leaders in your community (NCC) Letters to the editor from people in your congregation (Network) Public Prayer vigil (let media and members of congress know!) (NCC) Organize your own workshop like this one using this powerpoint as a blueprint, or games like this (MCC) Action alerts in your community (AFSC) Sunday service additions (UCC prayers) Collect and share stories template (JCPA) Learn more! (CBPP, CHN, etc)

28 Organize a meeting with your Member of Congress during the Congressional recess Apr 16 - May 1 Tips for Making a Personal Visit to a Legislator Meeting with a member of Congress, a state or local legislator, or a staff member is an effective way to convey a message about a specific issue or legislative matter. Face-to-face meetings are important ways to build relationships with your elected officials and their staff. Call ahead to the legislator’s office to make an appointment. Ask to speak to the scheduler. Often you will have to fax a written request. Include the number of people joining you and what issues you want to discuss. Be prompt. If the legislator or official is late, be patient and flexible. Don’t be disappointed if your meeting is with a staff person or if your meeting starts with the public official and ends with staff. There is great value in educating and building a relationship with the key staff people on your issues — they play a vital role in decision-making in the legislative process. Bring some succinct written materials outlining your position and leave them with the person you are visiting. Follow up on the meeting with a thank-you letter outlining what was covered and reiterate your main message on the issue.

29 Organize a meeting with your Member of Congress during the Congressional recess Apr 16 - May 1 Tips for Calling a Member of Congress Most legislative offices keep track of calls from constituents on various issues and report the number of calls they get to the legislators themselves on a regular basis. Calling your legislator's office to register your opinion is an important way to advocate for a responsible federal budget. Call the US Capitol Switchboard at 202 224 3121 and ask to be connected to your legislator’s office. You may also call the member of Congress outside of Washington in their district office (check the local phone book for those numbers). Give your name and address to the person answering the phone so that it is clear you are a constituent. Clearly explain your position on the issue (only address one issue per call) and what you would like the legislator to do (vote for or against a bill, etc.). If you have questions or want additional information, ask to speak with the staff person who works on the issue you are concerned about (for example: “May I speak with the staff person who works on budget issues?”).

30 “How can I make my voice heard?” Organize a meeting with your Member of Congress during the Congressional recess: Apr 16 - May 1 (NCJW) Letter to Congress from faith leaders in your community (NCC) Letters to the editor from people in your congregation (Network) Public Prayer vigil (let media and members of congress know!) (NCC) Organize your own workshop like this one using this powerpoint as a blueprint, or games like this (MCC) Action alerts in your community (AFSC) Sunday service additions (UCC prayers) Collect and share stories template (JCPA) Learn more! (CBPP, CHN, etc)

31 Letter to Congress from faith leaders in your community (NCC) March 1, 2011 Dear Members of Congress: Our witness as faith leaders is grounded in love for God and neighbor and all Creation. Accordingly, we are compelled to speak out against the proposed deep cuts in FY2011 discretionary domestic and poverty-focused foreign aid spending. Jesus challenged people to define themselves by the measure of their love for one another, with particular concern for those struggling in poverty and marginalized by society. His Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) transforms and broadens our definition of the neighbor and lifts up a model of relationship with our neighbors that should define and sustain our community, national and international life. Love acknowledges our interdependence and our responsibility for the future. None of us can prosper and be secure while some of us live in misery and desperation. In an interdependent world, the security and prosperity of any nation is inseparable from that of even the most vulnerable both within and beyond their borders. Our churches remain fully committed to our anti-poverty ministries in the U.S. and around the world. But we also know from this hard-won experience that similarly, our nation must remain committed to providing attention to and opportunity for poor and vulnerable people. Discretionary programs that serve the poor and vulnerable are a very small percentage of the budget, and they are not the drivers of the deficits. Unchecked increases in military spending combined with vast tax cuts helped create our country’s financial difficulties and restoring financial soundness requires addressing these root imbalances. We share your concerns over long-term deficits and urge you to find just solutions that will protect future generations both from a legacy of debt and a legacy of poverty and underinvestment. Cutting discretionary programs is not a just solution. These cuts will devastate those living in poverty, at home and around the world, cost jobs, and in the long run, will harm, not help, our fiscal situation. While “shared sacrifice” can be an appropriate banner, those who would be devastated by these cuts have nothing left to sacrifice. We find ourselves at a moment of crisis and decision. In the midst of sobering financial challenges, our faith compels us to advance toward a better world for ourselves and our neighbors and not turn away from our brothers and sisters in need. We are compelled by our faith in the living Christ to seek a world where hunger and poverty are a distant memory, and where children around the world grow up with equal opportunities for success. We are called by God, who declared this Creation good, to seek a world of health in our air, water, and biodiversity. We are called by Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, to build a world where we live in community with one another, caring for those experiencing conflict, aiding those in the midst of natural disasters and dealing with the impacts of climate change, and where we seek things that build a world of just peace. As God is Creator and Sustainer of all, this is a not just a vision for those in our churches, but a witness our faith compels us to proclaim for all the world. The unprecedented and dangerous cuts to discretionary domestic programs and poverty-focused foreign assistance will jeopardize the lives and well-being of millions now and into the future. These deep and unwise spending cuts are a betrayal of our call to love our neighbor. Our faith points our nation to “a more excellent way” (1 Cor. 12:31) that bears one another’s burdens, acknowledges our interdependence, and compels sacrifice and love for our neighbors in need. We therefore urge you to reject proposed cuts that would undermine domestic and international efforts to help those who are struggling to overcome poverty.

32 Letter to Congress from faith leaders in your community (NCC) Rev. Donald H. Ashmall, Council Minister International Council of Community Churches Dr. Carroll A. Baltimore, Sr., President Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc. Rev. Geoffrey A. Black, General Minister and President United Church of Christ Bishop Larry M. Goodpaster, President, Council of Bishops United Methodist Church Rev. Mark S. Hanson, Presiding Bishop Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Rev. M. Linda Jaramillo, Executive Minister United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministries The Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop and Primate The Episcopal Church Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, General Secretary National Council of Churches USA Arthur M. Larrabee, General Secretary Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends Bishop Chuck Leigh, President Apostolic Catholic Church Rev. John L. McCullough Executive Director and CEO, Church World Service Roy Medley, General Secretary American Baptist Churches USA Stanley J. Noffsinger, General Secretary Church of the Brethren Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly Presbyterian Church USA Stephen M. Veazey, President Community of Christ Dr. Sharon E. Watkins, General Minister and President Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada

33 “How can I make my voice heard?” Organize a meeting with your Member of Congress during the Congressional recess: Apr 16 - May 1 (NCJW) Letter to Congress from faith leaders in your community (NCC) Letters to the editor from people in your congregation (Network) Public Prayer vigil (let media and members of congress know!) (NCC) Organize your own workshop like this one using this powerpoint as a blueprint, or games like this (MCC) Action alerts in your community (AFSC) Sunday service additions (UCC prayers) Collect and share stories template (JCPA) Learn more! (CBPP, CHN, etc)

34 Letters to the editor from people in your congregation (Network)

35 “How can I make my voice heard?” Organize a meeting with your Member of Congress during the Congressional recess: Apr 16 - May 1 (NCJW) Letter to Congress from faith leaders in your community (NCC) Letters to the editor from people in your congregation (Network) Public Prayer vigil (let media and members of congress know!) (NCC) Organize your own workshop like this one using this powerpoint as a blueprint, or games like this (MCC) Action alerts in your community (AFSC) Sunday service additions (UCC prayers) Collect and share stories template (JCPA) Learn more! (CBPP, CHN, etc)

36 Public Prayer vigil (NCC) (let media and members of congress know!)

37 “How can I make my voice heard?” Organize a meeting with your Member of Congress during the Congressional recess: Apr 16 - May 1 (NCJW) Letter to Congress from faith leaders in your community (NCC) Letters to the editor from people in your congregation (Network) Public Prayer vigil (let media and members of congress know!) (NCC) Organize your own workshop like this one using this powerpoint as a blueprint, or games like this (MCC) Action alerts in your community (AFSC) Sunday service additions (UCC prayers) Collect and share stories template (JCPA) Learn more! (CBPP, CHN, etc)

38 Organize your own workshop like this one using this powerpoint as a blueprint, or games like this (MCC)

39 “How can I make my voice heard?” Organize a meeting with your Member of Congress during the Congressional recess: Apr 16 - May 1 (NCJW) Letter to Congress from faith leaders in your community (NCC) Letters to the editor from people in your congregation (Network) Public Prayer vigil (let media and members of congress know!) (NCC) Organize your own workshop like this one using this powerpoint as a blueprint, or games like this (MCC) Action alerts in your community (AFSC) Sunday service additions (UCC prayers) Collect and share stories template (JCPA) Learn more! (CBPP, CHN, etc)

40 Action alerts in your community (AFSC)

41 “How can I make my voice heard?” Organize a meeting with your Member of Congress during the Congressional recess: Apr 16 - May 1 (NCJW) Letter to Congress from faith leaders in your community (NCC) Letters to the editor from people in your congregation (Network) Public Prayer vigil (let media and members of congress know!) (NCC) Organize your own workshop like this one using this powerpoint as a blueprint, or games like this (MCC) Action alerts in your community (AFSC) Sunday service additions (UCC prayers) Collect and share stories template (JCPA) Learn more! (CBPP, CHN, etc)

42 Sunday service additions (UCC prayers)

43 “How can I make my voice heard?” Organize a meeting with your Member of Congress during the Congressional recess: Apr 16 - May 1 (NCJW) Letter to Congress from faith leaders in your community (NCC) Letters to the editor from people in your congregation (Network) Public Prayer vigil (let media and members of congress know!) (NCC) Organize your own workshop like this one using this powerpoint as a blueprint, or games like this (MCC) Action alerts in your community (AFSC) Sunday service additions (UCC prayers) Collect and share stories template (JCPA) Learn more! (CBPP, CHN, etc)

44 “How can I make my voice heard?” Organize a meeting with your Member of Congress during the Congressional recess: Apr 16 - May 1 (NCJW) Letter to Congress from faith leaders in your community (NCC) Letters to the editor from people in your congregation (Network) Public Prayer vigil (let media and members of congress know!) (NCC) Organize your own workshop like this one using this powerpoint as a blueprint, or games like this (MCC) Action alerts in your community (AFSC) Sunday service additions (UCC prayers) Collect and share stories template (JCPA) Learn more! (CBPP, CHN, etc)

45 Message Your message should be clear and simple, and reflect your own beliefs. Some samples from the DHN community: –“Urge Congress not to cut programs for hungry and poor people for deficit reduction. Ask them to protect funding for low-income programs in the United States and for foreign assistance that is focused on reducing poverty.” (Bread for the World) –“Tell Congress to adjust their priorities: cut military spending and tax giveaways to the wealthy — not vital services and health care for the poor, elderly and disabled.” (AFSC)

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