The Fiscal Cliff: What Autism Advocates Should Know
November 21, 2012
By Autism Society
This month, I was invited to attend a meeting of disability leaders at the White House on the possible implications of the fiscal cliff for individuals with disabilities. The Autism Society was the only autism-specific organization represented at this meeting of nationally known and respected disability organizations.
At the meeting, White House staff provided a detailed briefing on the current national debate regarding the fiscal cliff. The fiscal cliff is the term for the impending crisis facing the federal government on December 31, when close to $500 billion in tax savings will end through the expiration of previously approved tax cuts. Simultaneously, the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA) will take effect resulting in $500 billion in legislatively mandated cuts. These two events occurring in concert are being referred to as the fiscal cliff.
Given the enormity of these two events, the Autism Society is calling for the President and Congress to take action in order to steer the nation away from this fiscal cliff. In order to avoid this fiscal crisis, there is general agreement that two legislative actions must occur: a revenue increase for government and a decrease in government spending. Magnifying the enormity of this task is a fragile economy that would be profoundly affected by the lack of a federal government response.
While many organizations are advocating to protect certain programs and specific tax cuts, we urge you to learn more about this impending fiscal crisis by visiting:
Congressional Research Service: Summary of the Budget Control Act of 2011
Tax Policy Center/Urban Institute and Brookings Institute
New York Times: Demystifying the Fiscal Impasse that is Vexing Washington
President Obama Discusses Growing the Economy and Reducing the Deficit - video
Speaker of the House, John Boehner Statement before the House of Representatives
Then get involved in this national debate. Here's what you can do:
- Visit the Autism Society's Vote4Autism for your elected official's contact information
- Seek a meeting with your elected officials to inform them how this crisis will affect you
- Participate in public discussions in your community
- Write a letter to the editor encouraging Congress and the President to take action
- Educate those in your community on the fiscal cliff
It is the position of the Autism Society that any conversation regarding a solution to this crisis must include the disability community and those affected by autism. It is imperative that the resolution of this matter cannot occur at the expense of those
living with a disability.
The Autism Society has been and will continue to be actively involved in this debate at the national level. I have been asked to testify at a Congressional Hearing on November 29 when the House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform examines the federal response to the rise in autism. In my testimony, I will talk about the growing needs of those affected by autism and ways we can address their needs in difficult financial times. I am also prepared to discuss the lack of portability in Medicaid as well as the redundancy and unnecessary bureaucracy built into the system. The Autism Society intends to advocate for a Medicaid system that effectively helps individuals advance their quality of life through increased access to services and greater efficiencies in the government's response to those living with a disability.
April 10, 2013
The Autism Society, the nation’s largest and oldest grassroots autism organization, has chosen Pittsburgh as the host city of its 44th annual conference on autism spectrum disorders.
April 5, 2013
Individuals with autism can attend the Autism Society National Conference and Exposition (in Pittsburgh) for FREE this year! Learn more: www.autism-society.org/conference.
April 3, 2013
Monarch Teaching Technologies, the makers of VizZle®, web-based educational software for visual learners with autism, will give one-year of free VizZle to every new (or renewing) Champion Member during April.
April 2, 2013
Read the Autism Society’s digital magazine about autism spectrum disorders!
April 2, 2013
Today, throughout the world, individuals will come together highlighting the needs and dreams of people living with autism.