Boehner’s Failure and the road ahead- Trumka

English: AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and ...

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka issued the following statement on House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) “Plan B” failure and the latest fiscal developments:

Speaker Boehner’s failure last night should be seen as one thing: A reset button to listen to the will of the American people. The slate is clean and we call on the President to come forward with an offer that reflects the reasons he won the election. Across the country working people continue to demand no tax cuts for the richest two percent and no benefit cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. At this point, cuts to the Social Security COLA to pay for more tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent should be off the table. The President and Congress have no obligation to radical Republicans who have no ground to stand on. What they do have is the backing of millions of hardworking women and men tired of being held hostage by far right-wing Republicans who clearly have little interest in governing.

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Fletcher, labor activists, say Vote for Obama and organize

By Bill Fletcher, Jr., Carl Davidson

 The 2012 Elections Have Little To Do With Obama’s Record … Which Is Why We Are Voting For Him

August 9, 2012  |

Let’s cut to the chase. The November 2012 elections will be unlike anything that any of us can remember.  It is not just that this will be a close election.  It is also not just that the direction of Congress hangs in the balance.   Rather, this will be one of the most polarized and critical elections in recent history.

Unfortunately what too few leftists and progressives have been prepared to accept is that the polarization is to a great extent centered on a revenge-seeking white supremacy; on race and the racial implications of the moves to the right in the US political system. It is also focused on a re-subjugation of women, harsh burdens on youth and the elderly, increased war dangers, and reaction all along the line for labor and the working class. No one on the left with any good sense should remain indifferent or stand idly by in the critical need to defeat Republicans this year.

U.S. Presidential elections are not what progressives want them to be

A large segment  of what we will call the ‘progressive forces’ in US politics approach US elections generally, and Presidential elections in particular, as if: (1) we have more power on the ground than we actually possess, and (2) the elections are about expressing our political outrage at the system. Both get us off on the wrong foot.

The US electoral system is among the most undemocratic on the planet. Continue reading

Jobs, Jobs, and Cars

Paul Krugman.  NYT. Jan. 26,2012.

English: Paul Krugman at the 2010 Brooklyn Boo...

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“Mitch Daniels, the former Bush budget director who is now Indiana’s governor, made the Republicans’ reply to President Obama’s State of the Union address. His performance was, well, boring. But he did say something thought-provoking — and I mean that in the worst way…

Clearly, Mr. Daniels doesn’t have much of a future in the humor business. But, more to the point, anyone who reads The New York Times knows that his assertion about job creation was completely false: Apple employs very few people in this country.

A big report in The Times last Sunday laid out the facts. Although Apple is now America’s biggest U.S. corporation as measured by market value, it employs only 43,000 people in the United States, a tenth as many as General Motors employed when it was the largest American firm.

Apple does, however, indirectly employ around 700,000 people in its various suppliers. Unfortunately, almost none of those people are in America.” Continue reading

Grijalva: I will not support it

When a crisis faces our nation, and decisions have to be made, we look to our elected officials to provide the guidance and direction that will help us persevere.  In the face of this manufactured debt ceiling crisis, many Members of Congress have failed to lead and are willing to substantially weaken many of the programs that make our nation great.

I will not support the emerging debt deal.

I will have no part of a deal that cuts Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to appease the farthest reaches of the right wing of the Republican Party.  It is unconscionable to put these programs on the chopping block and ignore the voices and beliefs of the millions of Americans who trust us to lead while continuing to give handouts to the ultra wealthy and the largest corporations.  There is no human decency in that.

Rather than fly the standard of the working Americans who voted them into office, some Members of Congress are content to raise the white flag and call it “bipartisanship” or a “grand bargain”.  Many elected officials yearn to be leaders, but this debt deal shows that too many of them settle for being politicians. Continue reading

Medicare cuts are not acceptable !

Against Congressman Lungren

by Duane Campbell

The Alliance for Retired Americans, affiliated with the AFL-CIO and some twenty unions, held a Town Hall Meeting on the Crisis in Social Security Funding today in in the Rancho Cordova (Sacramento,) California district of U.S. Congressman Dan Lungren. Some 80 people turned out to analyze the attacks on social security and Medicare in the Ryan Republican Budget. Speakers from OWL (Older Women’s League) , the Alliance and Health Access as well as retirees from numerous unions discussed the attacks on Medicare, on Medicare, and the current Republican imposed crisis of refusing to increase the debt ceiling. Analyses of the effects of the proposed Medicare cuts and Medicaid cuts to the specific 3rd. Congressional District of California were shared. The current Congressperson in the 3rd. in Republican Dan Lungren who barely survived a close election challenge in 2010. Literature on each of these topics can be found at the Alliance web site at http://www.retiredamericans.org.
The meeting was attended by at least 80 people. The great majority were over 50 years of age and affiliated with unions. The Ryan Budget bill was described by speakers as an assault on Medicare and a repeal of the Affordable Care Act of 2009. Speakers also discussed the Republican sponsored effort to pass a regressive Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Speakers argued that the Republicans are holding the country hostage by refusing to raise the debt ceiling; they will only do so if the federal government caps domestic spending at a fixed percentage of GDP and passes a balanced budget amendment. Both of these policies would have disastrous long-term results for the U.S. economy. The Republicans also refuse to raise taxes, even by permitting the last set of “temporary” Bush-era tax cuts to lapse. Continue reading

California schools in crisis, Unions lead the fight back

Duane Campbell

by Duane Campbell

The financial crisis is hitting most of the nation’s public schools including those in most states- particularly California, Texas, New York, Illinois, Connecticut, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Florida,  and others.   In California as of 2011, 30,000 teaches have already been laid  off as federal stimulus money runs out, and another 15,000 face possible lay offs depending upon what happens in the state budget conflict. More than 4.1 Billion $ has been cut from California school budgets in the last three years as a consequence of the national economic crisis and there will be at least a  $2.1B additional cut under the best case scenario.

State revenues for schools are in crisis around the nation.  School spending is expected to  bottom out  over the next two years as  states and districts run out of $100 billion in federal stimulus aid for education passed when Democrats controlled the Congress. The stimulus money saved about 368,000 school-related jobs during the 2009-2010 school year, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Most school funding comes from the state and local levels.   Only about 11 % come from federal funds Continue reading

The Jobs Crisis will not be Cured with the Same Policies

Washington, DC – On the heels of two months of dismal job growth, a panel of workers, economists and national leaders detailed solutions on how to deal with the jobs crisis at a forum on Monday at the AFL-CIO.  Titled “The Jobs Crisis — Moving to Action: A Dialogue Between Workers and Policymakers,” the forum, moderated by Bob Herbert, drew a sharp contrast between the policies that got our country in this economic crisis and are currently being advocated to get it out, and what is needed in order to spark a real economic recovery.

“The most grievous of all of America’s wounds is its chronic, insidious unemployment,” stated Bob Herbert, Distinguished Fellow at Dēmos and moderator of today’s panel.   “America as we’ve come to know it – a vibrant, prosperous nation with a vast and growing middle class – cannot survive if the current, tragic levels of joblessness and underemployment become the norm.”

“I want to see decent, safe jobs for all Americans. I don’t want a handout. I just want a fighting chance,” said unemployed Working America member Shonda Sheen, from Yellow Springs, Ohio. Continue reading

California Teachers arrested for demanding adequate school funding

Sacramento Teacher arrests

CTA Members Refuse to Leave Capitol and Demand Passage of Tax Extensions to Keep Deeper Cuts Away from Schools, Colleges and Essential Public Services

SACRAMENTO – CTA President David A. Sanchez and 25 other educators took a stand for students this evening by refusing to leave the offices of Senate Republican Leader Bob Dutton and Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway.  The educators were peacefully arrested by the California Highway Patrol following a fourth day of actions in the State Capitol. The following statement can be attributed to CTA President David A. Sanchez:

“Today, I took a stand for the millions of California students who are being robbed of their future. I refused to step aside while California’s public schools and colleges go without the vital resources they need. Our schools and colleges have been cut $20 billion in the past three years, and without action by California lawmakers, will endure another $4.1 in cuts next year. Enough is enough. Our students deserve better and our state can do better.

“The Republican’s proposal from today shows they are clearly out of touch with what California students need, and is built of the same gimmicky principals that have plagued California’s budget process for years. While I’m glad they have issued a press release promising to protect public education funding, I’m insulted that they think their plan will do that. It’s a deliberately misleading and tardy scheme designed to trick voters into thinking it’s a real solution. Just look at the numbers: a $14.5 billion deficit can’t be erased by $2.5 billion in unexpected one-time revenue. Continue reading

Oppose Free Trade – Support Fair Trade

For years, America’s political leaders have pursued unsustainable and unacceptable trade deals that decimate American jobs.

For all those years, there has been broad consensus that–at a bare minimum–people who lose their jobs because of unfair trade deals like NAFTA deserve help and training for finding new jobs. After all, it’s the least our country can do for someone who works a lifetime in an industry, only to see his or her job shipped off to China, right?

But the basic bipartisan consensus to help people whose lives have been turned upside down by outsourcing ended yesterday, when the House Republican leadership abruptly refused to schedule a vote to extend help for victims of outsourcing.

The expiring program–called Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA)–provides financial help and training for workers who lose their jobs or see their hours or wages reduced due to outsourcing, offshoring or increased imports.

Sign our electronic petition to Speaker Boehner. It says: “It’s inexcusable that our leaders keep promoting policies to encourage outsourcing. Doing nothing for the victims of these policies is totally unacceptable.” Go here:
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