April 29, 2011
Protesting GOP budgets which give to the rich, take from the rest
About three dozen North Carolinians who are fed up with calls by Republican leaders for everyone else to sacrifice so they and their corporate campaign backers can continue to sacrifice nothing walked a picket line outside the headquarters of the North Carolina Republican Party in Raleigh, today.
Picketers carried signs that read, “Corporate Welfare: GOP Approved”, “Hands off my Medicare”, “GOP: No Millionaires Left Behind”, “GOP Loyalty: Wall St, not Workers”, and “Shame on Ellmers” – referring to U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-2nd).
With no apparent sense of irony, a representative of the NC GOP came outside during our picket and offered picketers some cake. Yes, you read that right. The Republican response to picketers upset by their immoral state and federal budgets which give to the rich by taking from the rest was, “Let them eat cake.” They were so pleased with themselves, @NCGOP tweeted about it soon thereafter.
While 37,000 North Carolinians who have been jobless more than 79 weeks continue to go without extended unemployment benefits and state lawmakers debate bills that would erode protections for injured workers, make deep cuts to public education and health, and roll back voting rights, working families are facing fresh attacks from Republican leadership at the federal level.
Earlier this month, freshman U.S. Representative Renee Ellmers joined four of her Republican colleagues from North Carolina to approve a federal budget for 2012 that would end Medicare as we know it, turn Medicaid into a block grant program, and lay the groundwork for privatizing Social Security. The Republican budget would cut funding for regulators who protect the public from the worst labor, environmental, health insurance, and financial company abuses. Most galling to working families, Republicans have coupled these program cuts with a ten-point reduction in taxes on corporations and top income earners – in addition to making permanent the Bush-era tax cuts – while continuing to give public subsidies to the highly profitable oil and financial industries.
“Republicans in Raleigh and in Washington, DC keep telling us we’re broke, and tough times call for shared sacrifice,” said retiree Duane Adkinson of Garner, who walked the picket line this morning. “I can’t see how tax cuts for millionaires and corporations while turning Medicare into a voucher program and firing teachers is shared sacrifice.”