(Los Angeles, CA) – The NAACP has passed an emergency resolution in support of lifting the federal debt ceiling through at least 2013. Voted on by NAACP delegates at the 102nd Annual Convention in Los Angeles, the resolution also calls for “a balanced approach of spending cuts and revenue increases.”
“The time has come for a serious and balanced solution to this debate,” said NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. “Congress and the White House need to come together to prevent an economic catastrophe that will damage our financial markets on Wall Street and stymie job growth on main street.”
Reports indicate that if the debt ceiling is not raised, the United States will be unable to both pay interest on its debts and fund government obligations. The consequences include a severe cut to government operations, as well as “an increase of interest rates on mortgages, credit cards and car loans, a loss of value for 401(k) and other retirement savings plans, and a potential delay in pay checks for military, Social Security and Veterans benefits payments,” according to the resolution.
“The estimated 40% cut to government operations would have a particularly harsh impact on communities of color, low-income communities and the elderly, many of which rely heavily on services like Medicaid and Social Security,” stated NAACP Senior Vice President for Advocacy and Policy Hilary O. Shelton.
The resolution notes that the deficit and debt problem result from reckless 1990′s tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. In his keynote address on Monday, President Jealous called for an end to the Bush-era tax cuts.
“…let me send a very clear message from us to the leaders in congress less than a year ago you made tax cuts worth 4OO billion dollars a year. Now you want to cut 4 trillion dollars in expenses over the next ten years to pay for these tax cuts. Great nations do not remain great when they balance their budgets by making the elderly go hungry, children do without medical treatment, or students stop their learning. Before you let the American Dream expire, let alone people expire unnecessarily, let the tax cuts expire.”
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.