For Future of Nation, Obama for President
August 31, 2012
By Ernest Logan, CSA President
I can still remember the pride in my heart when I stood in the crowd on the National Mall on Jan. 20, 2009 as President Obama raised his right hand and took the oath of office, making official his historic victory.
After years of war, after a catastrophic financial crisis, after a decade in which the richest got richer as middle class and working class Americans struggled, here at last was our moment of hope and transcendence.
For many of us that euphoria has waned. Let’s be honest: It has been a tough four years. The economic recovery has been slow, unions have come under withering attacks, and few Americans feel secure in their retirement, present or future. Republicans in Congress have made opposition to the president their only policy agenda, resulting in paralysis when we need action. And yet, despite all roadblocks, President Obama has achieved critical successes including passage of a stimulus plan that prevented the nation from sinking into a full-fledged depression, the renewal of middle class tax cuts, the salvation of the auto industry and passage of a health care reform plan that prevents insurance companies from denying coverage to those with pre-existing conditions and gives parents great peace of mind by allowing them to keep young adults on their health plans.
Today, we find ourselves at a decisive moment. Are we going to protect the middle class? Are we going to make sure tax cuts go to those who need it? Are we going to invest in education and innovation? Are we going to provide a secure retirement to those who worked hard all their lives? The answers to these questions are yes…if we fight for them. And it begins by re-electing Barack Obama as president. If Mitt Romney is elected, we face a future of greater economic inequality, higher taxes on the middle class and an “every person for himself or herself” mentality that casts doubt on everything from Social Security and Medicare to investment in our public schools.
When I ask you, our members, what are your greatest concerns as you consider the election, I repeatedly hear three: retirement security, taxes, and education.
Retirement Security, Present and Future
We must find ways to cut the federal deficit, but the need to protect and preserve Social Security and Medicare is paramount. President Obama’s plan asks millionaires to pay a little bit more in taxes, ends tax breaks for corporations such as oil companies, and saves Medicare and Social Security for future generations.
Mitt Romney has chosen as his running mate, Representative Paul Ryan, who is the author of the Republican budget plan that would not only gut programs for the middle class and working class Americans, it would end Medicare as we know it. Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney’s Medicare plan would privatize Medicare, turning it into a voucher program. An independent analysis of the Romney/Ryan plan says that older, sicker patients would be forced to pay more under his plan. Paul Ryan has also proposed a plan to privatize Social Security. Middle class families, like yours and mine, would be vastly better off under Mr. Obama’s plan.
A Fair Tax Rate on the Rich
On the issue of taxes, President Obama stands with us by prioritizing the middle class, while Mitt Romney stands with the wealthiest of Americans. President Obama wants to make sure millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share to reduce the national debt and pay for vital government services including defense and Medicare. That's why President Obama supports a plan to establish a minimum tax rate of 30 percent for anyone who makes more than $1 million per year. Mr. Romney opposes this even though wealthy Americans pay lower taxes today than in any time in the last 50 years. (Tax rates on capital gains are at the lowest point since the Depression. And income tax for the rich is at its lowest point since FDR. The very rich once paid a 90+ percent tax rate.)
Mitt Romney's 2010 tax return shows why he has such a hard time relating to the economic interests of our families. Mr. Romney made nearly $22 million that year, but paid a federal tax rate of only 13.9 percent – lower than many middle class families. As President, Mr. Romney says, he will keep the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and has proposed a new $250,000 a year tax cut for those making over $1 million a year. Mr. Romney even said, “Now’s not the time to raise taxes on our oil companies,” even though his tax plan raises taxes for many middle class families.
Supporting Public Education
Mitt Romney has been stridently opposed to educators’ unions and a staunch supporter of vouchers. His lack of commitment to public education is directly at odds with our union’s mission and your life’s work.
President Obama, on the other hand, has shown that he is a strong advocate of public education. From phasing out No Child Left Behind to the passage of the stimulus package which protected tens of thousands of teaching jobs, Mr. Obama has stood with our union on many key issues related to educating our children. The contrast between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney on the issues that matter to us is stark and undeniable. I believe strongly that our union’s future, and your future security, is very much at stake in this election.
CSA strongly endorses Barack Obama for president and we will need to do everything in our power to help him win re-election. Let’s be clear. This is not an election about hope. This election is a fight for our future.