This pledge closed about 2 years ago
At our tabling events, Up to Us: NYU is conducting an activity called the "spending cuts races." For a list of all our tabling dates, check our schedule. Everyone who stops by our table will have the opportunity to put in a token for 1 of 3 nonprofits: Teach for America, a nonprofit that staffs teachers in under-resourced areas; USO, a nonprofit that supports our military troops; and Food Bank of NYC, a nonprofit that distributes food to the hungry, including Hurricane Sandy victims. If NYU wins Up to Us, we'll donate the largest percentage of our prize money to the winning nonprofit, and smaller amounts to the other 2 nonprofits.
The spending cut races are meant to draw attention to the automatic spending cuts (known as "sequestration"), scheduled to hit on March 1. These cuts would lower defense program funding by 13% and non-defense program funding, such as funding for nonprofits, by 9%. To avoid sequestration, Congress must pass an alternative plan, preferably a long-term one--but it looks like a short-term budget package is currently on the table. (There goes the can being kicked down the road...)
We want to draw attention this issue because:
1. Some combination of spending cuts and tax increases are likely necessary to bring the deficit down. However, as the participants in our spending cut races know, choosing between programs is HARD. :)
But not all spending cuts are created equal. Cutting research, infrastructure, and education programs could endanger long-term growth, and economic growth is the best way to beat the deficit.
2. Sequestration--"unless we do something to lower the deficit by $10 trillion over the next 10 years, we will implement these seismic cuts"--arose from compromises reached in the 2011 debt ceiling crisis and 2012 fiscal cliff talks. Congress aiming a gun at itself to produce budget policy is counterproductive. The results are hastily cobbled policy that fails to address the biggest drivers of the debt (such as healthcare, defense, and Social Security) and decreased confidence in the U.S.