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Economic Recovery Plan Could Benefit Few
An analysis from Call to Renewal shows that the President’s economic package would actually assist only the top five percent of the population who own most of the shares of stock and have an average annual income of $350,000. The top one percent of the tax filers would get 42 percent of the benefits. One striking disparity is that the top 0.2 percent of the tax filers would receive as much from this tax cut as the bottom 90 percent of the filers combined. Those who have incomes over $1 million will receive about $27,100 in benefits, those with incomes between $30,000 and $40,000 will get about $42 in tax benefits.
President Bush ran on a platform of "compassionate conservatism," but so far has not addressed the real needs of the disadvantaged. The number of people living under the poverty level is rising – 33 million, including 12 million children. Unemployment has jumped to 6 percent. Request for emergency food and shelter assistance rose 19 percent last year. Congress has failed to reauthorize welfare reform and just recently extended unemployment benefits for millions of Americans. Reports indicate that the administration will submit a budget cutting domestic spending to pay for the increased military budget to fund preparatitions for war.
If you want more analysis of how this tax cut and recovery plan will effect a majority of the taxpayers, you can get that information from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (www.cbpp.org).
Action Needed to Defend Guatemalan Witness
In October 2002 De La Roca’s nephew in Guatemala was tortured and murdered. His fingertips had been cut, his scalp removed and he had been shot three times in the head. The report indicates that this is consistent with torture linked to the armed forces and may have been done to terrorize the family. In December 2002 De La Roca started receiving suspicious and threatening calls at his home in the United States.
De La Roca witnessed the detention and torture of Efrain Bamaca Velasquez at the time of his capture in 1992. Bamaca was a commander of one of the armed guerrilla groups that waged civil conflict against the Guatemalan military until the peace accords were agreed to in 1996. De La Roca went into exile in the United States in 1997 in fear for his security. Since then his family in Guatemala has been subjected to sporadic harassment which has increased over the last year.
AI is recommending that appeals be sent to the Guatemalan government expressing concern for the safety of De La Roca and his family and urging authorities to take adequate measures to ensure their safety. Letters can be sent to the Guatemalan Ambassador to the U.S., Antonio Arenales Forno, Embassy of Guatemala, 2220 R Street, NW, Washington, DC 20008.
You can get updated information on this case from Amnesty International at www.amnesty.org, or by calling the Colorado office weekdays between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. (Mountian Time).
Ecumenical Group Calls on Governments to "embark on a course of peace and justice"
CMEP has been promoting these objectives for several years now, and more intensely in the past months, through meetings with members of Congress, representatives at the State Department and meetings with administration officials. A report on a recent meeting with the National Security Council is in the current Bulletin. CMSM is a member of CMEP and J/P Director Stan De Boe, OSST, is currently the chair.
For more information on CMEP and updated action alerts and analysis you can view their website at www.cmep.org.
Save the Date
Summer Justice Program
Stan De Boe, OSST