November 9, 2012
Protect the safety net and tax the rich
On November 8, just two days after the election, workers and retirees in North Carolina told their stories about how they would be hurt if Congress cuts Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security to extend George Bush’s tax cuts for the top 2% at meetings in Asheville, Greensboro, and Raleigh. They delivered letters and their messages to Congressmen Heath Shuler and Mel Watt and Senator Kay Hagan urging them to promise now to not cut the social safety net to further fill the already-deep pockets of the richest 2%.
Painful automatic budget cuts that will cost jobs for the middle class, cut education for children, and deepen economic insecurity are scheduled to kick in at the beginning of next year unless Congress passes legislation to cancel them. Simply letting the Bush tax cuts for the richest 2% expire as originally intended would raise $1.2 trillion – more than enough to cancel the cuts.
Those tax cuts for the richest 2% were a monumental failure, anyway. They failed to create jobs, and they were an outrageous waste of money. A new study by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service finds no evidence that tax cuts for the rich increase economic growth.
“The election may have just ended, but North Carolina’s working families are already mobilizing to hold Congress accountable, telling them we can’t afford to make cuts to our social safety net to transfer more wealth to the already-wealthy,” said state AFL-CIO president James Andrews. “Voters rejected that kind of Romney-economics when they re-elected President Obama.”
“You cannot seriously claim to be worried about spending while wanting to shower the richest 2% with tax giveaways that would cost the rest of us $1 trillion over 10 years,” said Mark Case, Asheville-area AFL-CIO president. “I don’t think Rep. Shuler wants such a wrong-headed policy to be his legacy. We are sure he realizes that working families who rely on these vital programs need more economic security, not less.”
Sign our petition, then call, call, call!
What should you do? We heard again and again at each meeting about the importance of making calls to congressional offices to keep hammering home our message.
What should Congress do? The most important two things are:
1. Congress should let the Bush tax cuts expire for the wealthiest 2% of Americans.
2. Congress must make no cuts to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefits.
Sign the petition: www.aflcio.org/ProtectOurFuture.