August 02, 2011
JFAV ON THE “DEBT CEILING” DRAMA AND “COMPROMISE” IN THE US CONGRESS
Los Angeles—“ The Dark Days of August Spreads its Gloom.”
The Justice for Filipino American Veterans (JFAV) and its allied organizations is appalled by the so –called “debt ceiling crisis” drama and its compromise solution that did not tax the rich but passed the burden to the working poor of this nation.
The JFAV is alarmed due to the fact, the bill speaks not of cutting “defense spending” but “security spending,” which includes the Department of Veterans Affairs. (DVA)
Instead of scaling back the forces of war, repression and domestic surveillance, these “security” cuts may easily be aimed at veterans' health care and retirement benefits.
Effect on Filipino Veterans and Survivors
Those who will affected are the more than 600,000 veterans of America’s war in the back logged list of claims including the 27,000 Filipino World War II Veterans and their survivors whose claims are on appeal at the DVA.
Out of the more than 42,000 Filipino veterans who applied for the lump sum claims under the ARRA law, more than 52% or 27,000 of them were denied because of the DVA requirement that they should be on the “Missouri List.”
JFAV Denounces the fact that the immediate targets will be education, housing, health care, transportation, environmental protection, and an assortment of social programs and services that are already stretched thin.
No Tax for the Rich, All Cuts Vs. the Poor
JFAV stands that this deal is no “compromise.” It is a bipartisan attack launched by the White House and its allies in Congress on behalf of the banks and corporations against the living standards of workers/seniors , veterans and the whole community : 7 billion in spending cuts, with no tax increases on the wealthy.
JFAV is alarmed that The Filipino seniors and elderly population is greatly affected by this so called “ cost cutting measures.” The elderly and seniors pensions have been systematically eliminated, and 401k plans have taken monumental losses. Social Security—referred to as “supplemental income”—is usually not enough to get by on. In fact , the SSI of the seniors were cut by $ 40 dollars!
Right now, employees pay 4.2 percent of their wages into Social Security. But this is capped at 6,800 in wages, so someone who makes million contributes the same amount as someone who makes 6,800. Workers pay 4.2 percent, whereas such millionaires do not even pay 1 percent. A reasonable first step would be to remove that cap, but neither the Democrats nor the Republicans would dare suggest it.
The Time to Act is Now
JFAV is aware that that there are 44 million people below the poverty line (and that is with a ridiculously underestimated poverty level of ,350 for a family of four).
The number of people without health care has risen to 52 million. There is no emergency bill for the millions of families facing eviction and foreclosure every year. From just 2005 to 2009, Latino households lost 66 percent and Black households lost 53 percent of their so-called “wealth.”
JFAV call on the community that as a first step, community organizations and labor unions should call mass actions to protest this outrage. We must act and mobilize now!
For JFAV a radical reversal of tides will also require a radical vision. The debt deal confirms that this political system is not by, of, or for the people. It is an impenetrable dictatorship of the rich masked by the appearance of choice. All people who are serious about change must think seriously about the need for a systemic change and how to achieve it.
Justice, Equity and Racial Equality, Now!
JFAV National Committee
August 02, 2011