November 30, 2012
Diane Cohen, LaborPress Washington Bureau
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the National Education Association (NEA) today launched an opening set of television ads in Colorado, Virginia, Missouri, and radio ads in Pennsylvania, Alaska and Missouri. The ads are urging Senators and Representatives to protect Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and education.
In addition to ads, AFSCME, SEIU and NEA have released results from a public poll that shows a majority of Americans opposed cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Education in order to balance the budget. A clear majority want neither a “grand bargain” nor cuts to vital services to reduce the budget deficit. More than half of Americans want to see the wealthy pay their fair share so Congress can invest in job creation and protect our national priorities. The poll was conducted by the Mellman Group from November 9-12, 2012.
“We cannot cut our way to job creation, balance the budget at the expense of the middle class, and destroy programs that provide a measure of economic security for millions of Americans,” said Chuck Loveless, AFSCME Federal Government Affairs Director. “Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security are bedrock programs for American families, providing retirement income to seniors, keeping millions of Americans healthy and providing health care for the sick and the disabled. We need a balanced approach to the nation’s fiscal challenges which protects the benefits provided by these vital programs, continues the middle class tax cuts, invests in job creation and asks wealthier individuals to pay their fair share. Congress must pull together and pass legislation that protects the American Dream.”
“Elected officials from both parties need to listen to the will of the voters and focus on rebuilding the middle class and strengthening our economy by investing in jobs, not cuts. We will forcefully oppose any budget deal that puts working families and the economic recovery in jeopardy,” said Peter Colavito, SEIU Director of Government Relations.
“Members of Congress have to ask themselves who should make the bigger sacrifice—America’s school children and middle class families or corporations and wealthy CEOs? Are they looking out to preserve middle class tax cuts for hard working men and women, or tax loopholes for corporations and the wealthy?,” said Mary Kusler, NEA Director of Government Relations. “It makes no sense to rob Peter to pay Paul, especially when Peter is a five-year-old who simply is trying to learn in school. It’s short-sighted.”