No deal is better than a bad deal

The congressional “super committee,” which was charged with finding $1.2 trillion in savings to the federal budget in the name of deficit reduction, has failed. The effect of no deal is a better outcome than some of the proposals that were under consideration. Such proposals would have massively cut programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. For LGBT seniors, those with chronic illness and low-incomes, these cuts would have been devastating.

The good news is that LGBT people collecting Social Security benefits and those who rely on Medicaid will not face immediate benefit cuts. LGBT people over 65 are more reliant on Social Security benefits, Medicare and Medicaid than our heterosexual counterparts. And we know that the realities of our lives often results in less economic security for LGBT people over the lifespan.

However, the consequence of the super committee’s failure is across the board cuts to all federal agencies. These automatic cuts will affect poor and low-income LGBT people who rely on social services, especially those who rely on local HIV/AIDS service programs. Additional discretionary cuts will impact many other social service programs and education.

Our work must continue to prevent these cuts across all the federal agencies and insist that Congress raise taxes on the 1% instead of making the 99% bear the burden of reducing the deficit. While most Americans are hurting in this economy now is not the time to cut programs, it is the time to create jobs.