Concerned about the negative impact going over the fiscal cliff would have on LGBT families and all Americans, a group of gay and lesbian one-perecenters have sent a letter to Speaker John Boehner, Senate Majority leader Harry Reid, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
Some 24 wealthy gays signed the letter, including financial wiz Suze Orman (right), Quark founder Tim Gill, DNC treasurer Andrew Tobias and Palette Found director Terrence Meck. They’ve stepped forward to say that, while the average American can’t withstand higher taxes, they’re ready to do their part. “I have been very fortunate in my 34 years and not only feel that it is my duty to do more, but would be honored to help ensure that necessary funds to our most vulnerable populations are preserved,” Meck explained to the Washington Post‘s Jonathan Capehart.
Below, read the full text of their letter:
Dear Speaker Boehner, Senator Reid, Senator McConnell, and Representative Pelosi:
We are successful LGBT Americans who now or in the past have earned an annual income of $1,000,000 or more.
America has been good to us: it has provided the foundation and opportunity to succeed. We want that same opportunity and possibility for all Americans, but we are concerned about the future of our community and our country.
At the end of this year, a series of deadlines will require our leaders to make important decisions that will have a huge impact on the economy — and on the LGBT community. If Congress fails to act, across-the-board cuts to vital programs will be triggered even as taxes go up on the middle class.
For LGBT Americans, this “fiscal cliff” isn’t just an abstract concept. A report released by the Center for American Progress, the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, and a coalition of 23 national LGBT organizations outlines the real and lasting impact it would have.
Across-the-board cuts would compromise LGBT health by reducing programmatic funding used to address the health care needs of gay and transgender Americans, impair the federal government’s ability to investigate claims of workplace discrimination, and remove critical resources from government agencies working to prevent bullying and school violence.
At the same time, higher tax rates would further endanger middle class and working class members of our community. LGBT Americans have lower levels of income than other Americans, according to a recent Gallup report, and face additional economic obstacles caused by the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and the lack of federal workplace protections.
In the recent election, many of us contributed significantly to re-elect the President, and we support the President’s vision of a country in which everyone has a fair shot and does his or her fair share.
We urge Congress to work with President Obama to avoid the fiscal cliff with a balanced approach, and to preserve the middle-class tax cuts while allowing tax cuts for the best-off to expire. It’s the right thing to do.
The Honorable Bruce W. Bastian
Karen K. Dixon & Nan Schaffer
Dale Frederiksen & Bob Page
Nanette Gartrell, MD & Dee (Diane) Mosbacher MD, PhD
Glenn Johnson & Michael Melancon
Suze Orman & Kathy Travis