Markey on Pres. Obama Budget: Cuts to Social Security Benefits, other Programs Outweigh Actions on Big Oil Taxes, Research Funding, and Avoiding Sequestration


Chained CPI Change to Social Security is “Cutting People’s Income,” Says Congressman

WASHINGTON (April 10, 2013) – While President Obama’s budget makes laudable investments in clean energy, eliminates tax breaks for Big Oil, and effectively cancels sequestration, Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) today said he opposes the budget in its current form because it would cut benefits to seniors on Social Security and makes other significant cuts to other key low-income programs that are vital to Massachusetts residents like low-income heating assistance.

“People need to know that adopting chained CPI for Social Security is really ‘Cutting People’s Income,’ a wrong-headed change that would go back on the promise we make to our senior citizens. Investing in clean energy, education, and infrastructure should not come with the price tag of making significant cuts to programs that serve our nation’s neediest citizens, including to low-income heating assistance.Tea Party Republicans may have pushed the president into many of these difficult decisions, but it still does not make this budget right nor fair, especially for those Americans who need help the most,” said Rep. Markey. 

The President’s budget also includes a number of provisions, unrelated to changes to social programs explained above, that Rep. Markey proposed or championed:

--Slows construction on the Mixed-Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility and commits to investigating alternative approaches to the disposal of U.S. stockpiles of surplus plutonium, the fuel used to make nuclear bombs. Rep. Markey has vocally opposed this wasteful program for years.

--Includes repeal of tax subsidies enjoyed by the oil and gas industry. Rep. Markey has introduced legislation, H.R. 601, the Permanent Repeal of Oil Subsidies Act, that would repeal nearly $7 billion per year in tax subsidies for large oil companies.

--Increases funding for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and advanced vehicle technologies, and makes permanent the tax credits for renewable energy production. Rep. Markey has pushed for tax incentives for American renewable energy.

--Closes the tar sands oil tax loophole to ensure that this dirty oil doesn’t get a free ride through U.S. pipelines. Rep. Markey has introduced legislation that would close this tax loophole for tar sands oil.

--Makes permanent the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

--Includes the “Use It or Lose It” concept championed by Rep. Markey that encourages oil companies to begin drilling on the tens of millions of acres of public lands they are currently warehousing.

--Includes an increase in funding for the CFTC, which Rep. Markey has pushed for to fight back against market manipulators, especially in the oil markets.

--    Invests an additional $80 million to support critical Alzheimer’s Diseases research targeted at speeding up the development and testing of new therapies. The funding supports the implementation of the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA), a law authored by Congressman Markey that establishes the goal of preventing or effectively treating Alzheimer’s by 2025.