News Column

Protesters Urge Action on Imminent 'Fiscal Cliff'

Dec 28, 2012

Jeff Tucker

--Get back to work.

About 15 people tried to send that brief, pointed message to U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton and the rest of Congress as the so-called fiscal cliff looms over the economy.

Protesters gathered in the frigid temperatures to unveil a rendering of a cliff made from discarded carpet as a reminder that Congress has just five days before a package of forced tax hikes and spending cuts goes into place that many economists believe will trigger another recession.

The rendering wasn't pretty, but organizer Sam Kraus of The Action group said it makes a point.

"If we had a better engineered cliff, it would be less accurate to the current state of the political debate," he said.

The rally, similar to one held last week, called on Tipton and the rest of Congress to find a solution that benefits the middle class.

On Thursday, the protesters heard from Roxy Pignanelli, president of the School District 70 teachers union, who said she was speaking as an individual.

She said she didn't vote for Tipton and probably never would.

But she said Tipton was elected to represent all of the people in the 3rd District and many of his constituents are poor or middle class families who would be deeply affected by the austerity measures waiting at the beginning of the year.

"We are wearing thin," she said. "There's very little left."

Michele Keplinger also spoke at the rally. Keplinger is an organizer for, but also said she was speaking as an individual.

She claimed that at least 60 percent of Americans believe that tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans should expire.

She noted that Tipton had signed Grover Nordquist's pledge to never raise taxes, but argued that without new taxes the country's financial crisis won't get solved.

"By ending the Bush tax cuts and letting middle class taxes remain steady, we will strengthen the middle class and help businesses stay strong as the economy continues to recover," she said. "It will create jobs and it will not create more poor people."

Source: (c)2012 The Pueblo Chieftain (Pueblo, Colo.). Distributed by MCT Information Services.

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