AFL-CIO - America"s Union Movement
April 28, 2011
Wall Street, Oil Prices and America's Future
By Richard Trumka
The budget passed by House Republicans keeps
$40 billion in tax loopholes for Big Oil and
gives $4.2 trillion in new tax cuts to
corporations and the rich. It pays for these
tax breaks by destroying Medicare as we know
it-and replacing it with underfunded vouchers.
It also demolishes services for seniors,
children and low- and middle-income Americans.
Demand that your senators and President Obama
do the right thing and reject any deal that
meets radical House Republicans halfway.
Brothers and Sisters,
Wall Street traders and oil company executives are
raking it in. And working people are paying the price.
Food and oil prices, inflated by speculators, are
hammering the middle class. Rising gas prices are
expected to inflate Exxon Mobil Corp.'s profits by more
than 50 percent.
But rather than bringing relief to working Americans,
House Republicans are stretching the middle class to
the breaking point. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.)-who wrote
the House Republican budget-won't even back President
Obama's proposal to eliminate tax breaks for Big Oil
and Gas companies, let alone consider commonsense ideas
like a modest financial speculation tax that would
bring balance back to our economy.
Urge your senators and President Obama to reject any
deal that meets House Republicans halfway and worsens
the imbalance in our economy.
What happened in Wisconsin, Ohio and other states-and
what's happening in Washington, D.C. right now-is a
power grab, plain and simple. A few of the most
privileged people in our society-people so awash in
wealth that they can influence politics-are doing
everything they can to strangle the middle class and
the union movement because they think this will help
them accumulate even more wealth, and even more power.
These wealthy few are being driven by ideological
extremism. How else could they pass a budget that
destroys Medicare and eliminates an estimated 1.7
million to 2.2 million jobs, right when we're in the
middle of a jobs crisis?
Tell your senators and President Obama that we can't
negotiate on our core principles.
We must stop ideologues who are willing to cause more
despair, more layoffs, more foreclosures, more
struggling businesses, more failing banks and a steeper
downward cycle from destroying the America we believe
Urge your U.S. senators and President Obama to fight
for working people by demanding a budget that:
1. Creates jobs instead of destroying them.
2. Restores balance by raising taxes on the rich and
corporations, instead of cutting them.
3. Protects Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and
investments in education instead of cutting them.
Send a clear message urging your senators and President
Obama to stand with working families and reject the
House Robin-Hood-in-reverse budget.
Richard L. Trumka President, AFL-CIO
P.S. In 2010, the average pay of a CEO at a major
American company went up by 23 percent-to $11.4
million. CEOs have seen explosive income growth-and
declining tax burdens-for years. But somehow, that
isn't good enough.
Many corporate CEOs are using their money and political
influence to try to make average Americans work 'til we
die. And for those of us lucky enough to live to see
retirement, they want to limit lifesaving medical care
for seniors, replacing Medicare with massively
Working people are always willing to roll up our
sleeves and get to work to fix America, including our
long-term budget problems. But it's got to be done in a
fair way. Working 'til we die-and giving up health
security and dignity in our old age-is not fair.
Tell your senators and President Obama that working
people are ready to get to work to fix the economy-but
we won't tolerate a budget balanced on the backs of
working Americans, retirees and our children.
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