Protest outside WI senators’ offices as nation moves toward fiscal cliff

DETROIT, Mich. — President Barack Obama visited Michigan on Monday, December 10th — trying to rally public support for his plan to avoid the fiscal cliff. Meanwhile, in Milwaukee, a group of faith leaders, union workers and political activists made their voices heard, taking a message to the offices of Wisconsin’s U.S. senators.

A group of protesters marched through Milwaukee on Monday, talking about how to deal with the nation’s debt and deficit worries as the U.S. moves closer toward the fiscal cliff.

“We want the best for our families. We want the best for our communities, and we want the best for our nation,” MICAH (Milwaukee Inner-city Congregations Allied for Hope) President Rev. Willie Briscoe said.
Over 50 Milwaukeeans who are concerned over potential cuts to the nation’s social security safety net demonstrated in front of the Milwaukee offices of two Wisconsin senators.
“This is not a partisan issue. We’re visiting Sen. Kohl and Sen. Johnson and asking them to do the right thing for Wisconsin families,” Jennifer Epps-Addison with Citizen Action Wisconsin said.
Wisconsin Sen. Herb Kohl said he would only vote for a debt reduction deal that includes spending cuts and tax increases for the wealthy.
“We have to come up with entitlement reform, no question about it, if we’re going to reduce our deficit, and our long-term debt. It’s a balance thing. We have to invest in education. We have to invest in infrastructure. We have to see to it that we not only take a short-term view, but a long-term view,” Sen. Kohl said.
Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson said the proposed tax increases will stifle economic growth and said the major entitlement programs need major reform.
“We have got to reform social security and Medicare so we can save those programs. If we don’t do anything, those programs will be bankrupt and Americans won’t be getting anything out of social security and Medicare,” Sen. Johnson said.
Sen. Johnson said he’s skeptical President Obama’s idea to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans will work.
“I don’t know the plan other than increasing taxes on the top 2%.  That doesn’t even come close to fixing the problem,” Sen. Johnson said.
Among the protesters in Milwaukee Monday was Edward Jude — a U.S. Marines veteran. Jude said he came out on behalf of his daughter, who suffers from Sickle cell anemia and relies on Medicaid.
“We’re out here trying to let our senators know that enough is enough. If they continue to cut these programs, what am I supposed to do, sit back and let my daughter die without putting up a fight?” Jude said.
The deadline for lawmakers to reach a deal is the end of the year.

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