AFL-CIO blasts Dems’ proposed cuts in safety net

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka has reaffirmed that the AFL-CIO opposes any cuts to Social Security or Medicare benefits or to the federal contribution to Medicaid, and he criticized Senate Democrats on the “Super Committee” for proposing — according to news reports — hundreds of billions of cuts.



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Here is the transcript of Trumka’s video statement, released Friday:

People around the country are raising their voices in protest because they’re fed up with a system that is stacked in favor of the richest one percent of Americans — at the expense of the other 99 percent of us.  Unfortunately, what reportedly happened this week in the so-called “Super Committee” just proves their point.

According to press reports, Democratic senators on the “Super Committee” have proposed hundreds of billions of dollars in cuts to Social Security and Medicare benefits, as well as Medicaid, while Republicans proposed even bigger and more harmful cuts to these essential middle class benefits.

These “Super Committee” Democrats have put all their concessions on the table up front in the vain hope that the Republicans might reciprocate.  But it doesn’t work that way.  In this political climate, concessions beget more concessions – not a workable compromise.  The politicians insisting that the only workable solution to their fabricated crisis involves deep cuts to middle class benefits must not get out into Main Street America enough.  If they had, they would see that the middle class has already given up too much, while Wall Street and the wealthiest Americans have done all the taking.

The AFL-CIO will oppose any cuts to Social Security or Medicare benefits or to the federal contribution to Medicaid.  We call on politicians of both parties to stand firm and demand that Wall Street and the wealthy finally pay their fair share – given the extraordinary increases in corporate profits and income inequality in recent years. This is the moment we need to raise our voices to let Congress know that we will not stand for dismantling the safety net or letting Wall Street and the wealthiest Americans off the hook.

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