These are the two facets of the "fiscal cliff" debate in Washington, as President Obama and Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives wrangle over what mix of cuts and revenue increases should be part of a deficit reduction deal.
Jewish organizations have been vocal during the budget debate, but some key groups are focusing their advocacy mostly on the threat of cuts to programs they hold dear while staying out of the heated fight over taxes.
With the federal budget Topic Number One on Capitol Hill and the prospects for serious cuts to critical programs growing by the day as a Tea Party-driven House Republican caucus flexes its muscles, today's Washington Post Fact Checker column offers a useful reality check.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Jewish groups expressed concerns about proposed Obama administration cuts in poverty assistance, but praised the U.S. budget for preserving aid to Israel.
The White House's proposed budget, released Monday, projects cuts in programs such as heating for the poor and in blocs of money funneled to the states for social programs, and increases funding for education and for "clean energy" development.
A Jewish community that relies on federal, state and local government programs to help fund a wide range of health and social services is about to feel the repercussions of a budget fight in Washington that will almost certainly result in severe cuts; the only question is, how severe.
Yesterday President Obama presented his $3.7 trillion budget outline that includes substantial cuts in a number of programs long favored by Democrats. Education and health would get more under the Obama plan; anti-poverty programs would get clobbered.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Jewish groups expressed disappointment in the U.S. Senate's failure to pass an enhanced equal pay act.
The Paycheck Fairness Act, passed in the U.S. House of Representatives last year, would have enhanced the 1963 Equal Pay Act, one of the first civil rights acts, to restrict the criteria employers use to justify pay differentials and to eliminate caps on discrimination lawsuits, among other measures.
Business groups opposed the law, saying its measures were burdensome and costly.
With the Republicans on their way in as leaders of the House, Tea Party activists ratcheting up their attacks on a hated federal government and President Obama sounding more and more like a whipped dog, we're going to hear a lot of talk in the next few weeks about cuts to the huge federal budget deficit.
Of course, most of this is just talk, since almost nobody is willing to do the two things that would really make a deficit dent: raise taxes and cut the military.
It wasn't surprising to see two Jewish groups among the signers of a letter supporting a House resolution criticizing the Texas State Board of Education for promoting a public school social studies curriculum that might be more appropriate for a Sunday school or church camp.