Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on President Obama’s Plan for Jobs and Deficit Reduction

Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)–September 19, 2011.  Today President Obama said some things that very much needed to be said.  He said we need to focus first and foremost on creating jobs, and he laid out a plan for doing just that.  He said that asking millionaires like Warren Buffett to start paying their fair share in taxes is not class warfare, but simple math.  He said Social Security does not contribute one dime to the deficit and Social Security benefits must not be cut.  He said drawing down from Iraq and Afghanistan would save $1.1 trillion over 10 years, which the Super Committee could use to avoid any cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security.  And he explained once again how budget surpluses under President Clinton turned into budget deficits under President Bush: through two wars that were never paid for, tax cuts for wealthy people that we couldn’t afford, and the effects of the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression that was caused by a failed economic philosophy that Republicans in Congress are now trying to revive.

We call on Congress to immediately pass the President’s proposal for job-creating investments, to ask the wealthy to start paying their fair share, to focus on the true causes of our long-term deficits, to reject any cuts to Medicaid or Social Security or Medicare benefits, and to stop scapegoating federal and postal employees and retirees for problems they did not cause.