By Ray Beckerman
Man's inhumanity to man and other living things threatens the whole human experiment. Let's fight it, and try to build a future.
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Richard Trumka: Stand up to the bullies in Congress
It’s always nice to see hard work pay off. I’m proud to say the work we did
together protected working families from taking yet another hit when the
fiscal showdown agreement passed last week. We were relentless in making
sure extremist politicians’ pattern of holding our economy hostage didn’t
work—and we did pretty well this round.
The agreement begins to restore tax fairness, protects needed Social
Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits, and extends unemployment benefits
for workers for another year.
But the right-wing bullies in Congress already are plotting to take their
next hostage. They’re once again demanding benefit cuts to Social Security,
Medicare and Medicaid and threatening to tank our economy by causing a
default of the U.S. government unless they get their way.
The only way to stop bullies is to stand up to them.
We trounced the bullies this last time around. Just look at what we have
accomplished with your help since Election Night:
More than 40,000 people signed our petition that
was delivered to senators and representatives in 22 states before the
15,000+ called their members of Congress,
including nearly a thousand in the critical days leading up to the
More than 28,000 e-mails
were sent in two days to President Obama and elected officials to ask
them to hold the line against benefit cuts;
Tens of thousands of people
attended one of more than 200 events organized in nearly every state and Washington,
25,000+ watched and shared our
fiscal showdown video;
You helped us spread the
message on Facebook to 143,011 people by sharing and liking one
or more of our Facebook posts more than 14,000 times;
And more than 10,000
people participated in our online candlelight vigil on Dec. 10.
This is amazing work and you should give yourself a pat on the back for
helping save Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid from benefit cuts and
for starting to make the rich pay their fair share.
I’m confident we can keep this momentum going, and it’s critical that we
do. Republican hostage takers still are eyeing benefit cuts and threatening
to cause a default—something there can be absolutely no negotiation about.
They want to control the conversation so dangerous budget austerity—budget
cuts that take food aid from hungry children, weaken education and food
safety and let our bridges and roads crumble—is the only thing we discuss.
And they don’t want to talk about simple reforms to close tax loopholes for
Wall Street, drug companies, companies that outsource jobs and for the
richest 2% of Americans. The deal passed last week ended the Bush tax cuts
for families making more than $450,000, rather than the $250,000 we supported.
The original proposal from President Obama would have raised more than
enough revenue from the richest 2% of Americans to offset the
across-the-board budget cuts set to go into effect on March 1.
The bullies want to strong-arm us into believing their manufactured hostage
crisis is the problem. The real problem is their continued insistence on
protecting their rich donor and lobbyist friends and cutting benefits. They
refuse to talk about genuine solutions to help our economy and create jobs
by investing in infrastructure and education, raising wages, reducing
inequality and increasing economic security for working people.
It’s time we stood up to the Republican bullies.
Send your local newspaper a letter to the editor now to make sure the
voice of working families, not just the bullies in Congress, is heard, too: