Writing at The Root DC, Gerry Hudson, the international executive vice president for the Service Employees International Union, or SEIU, predicts how the African-American community will be affected if the automatic cuts triggered by the fiscal cliff go into effect.
His answer — and you could probably have guessed this — is that blacks will feel the impact "doubly hard" when it comes to jobs, cuts to vital programs and more:
… If automatic cuts go into effect, middle class families would be hit hard with tax increases of at least $3,500 a year beginning in 2013.
And the automatic cuts would cost, not create, jobs. This would be doubly hard for middle class African Americans, whose unemployment rate remains at crisis levels and who saw decades of middle class economic gains wiped out by the recent recession.
Congress should end the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy as a way to find revenue needed to close the budget deficit. Any deal on the "fiscal cliff" must make sure that the wealthy pay their fair share in taxes.
Multiple post-election polls show voters want lawmakers to prioritize jobs creation over deficit reduction, and they want them to protect programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
Any job-killing cuts made to these programs would have a long term impact. In states such as California and New York with some of the largest African American populations, a five percent cut to Medicaid could result in the potential loss of more than 28,000 jobs in each state, while a 15 percent cut could result in the potential loss of over 50,000 jobs in other states such as Ohio and Pennsylvania, according to a study found here. More job losses would do more harm to the African American unemployment rate, which rose from 13.4 to 14.3 percent in October hitting black women hardest with an unemployment rate that rose 10.9 to 12.4 percent.