Delawareans rally to avoid falling over the fiscal cliff

By Amy Cherry 3:04pm, November 12, 2012
WDEL's Amy Cherry has more.
Teachers, veterans and senior advocates rally against going over the rapidly approaching, so-called fiscal cliff that would mean $1 trillion in automatic federal tax and spending changes at the end of the year that could lead to funding cuts for vital programs.

WDEL's Amy Cherry reports.

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"Budget dealers here's a clue, reducing debt takes revenue!" chanted the crowd.

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They're calling for a fairer rate of taxes on households at the top, starting with...

"Repealing the Bush tax cuts for people making over $250,000," says Jean Williams, former Executive Director of the Newark Senior Center.

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Williams says our seniors can't afford Medicare cutbacks, a program that's likely to be a target.

"The cutbacks in Meals on Wheels, noontime meals, things that really help keep people independent in their homes, and that's what they want to be, so if we don't do that, their health will decline, and they'll end up in institutional kind of care, which a lot of times is paid for by Medicaid if the people don't have resources, and that gets more expensive than keeping them in their home," she explains.

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While compromise will be the name of the game, Williams believes Congress will find a way for one big reason .

"The seniors are a strong voting block," she says.

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Delaware's children could also be hard hit if America falls over the fiscal cliff.

Potential cuts to programs like school breakfast, Head Start and Title I funding would impact 175 of our 200 schools.

Frederika Jenner is President of the Delaware State Education Association (DSEA).

"Because if you're cutting Title 1, you're cutting Title 1 providers, and if you're cutting school breakfast, you're cutting food service workers, and we're certainly not in any position to have anyone lose another job in America," says Jenner.

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The rally at the Newark Senior Center was organized by Americans for Democratic Action (ADA).

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