imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Subscribe Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

CopWatch LA

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List





IMC Network: www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech
printable version - js reader version - email this article - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Will Unions Fight Fiscal Cliff Cuts to Medicare and Social Security?

by Shamus Cooke Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012 at 4:15 AM
portland@workerscompass.org

With pro-Obama election posters still visible in most union halls across the country, the President has already taken steps towards selling out not only labor unions (again) but all working people. But this isn’t the “ordinary” sellout that working people have come to expect from Democrats — this is an attack of historic proportions.

The pretext for this betrayal of the working people-friendly profile he promoted while on the campaign trail is the politically manufactured “fiscal cliff” crisis of triggered spending cuts and tax increases slated for January 1st. But the fiscal cliff itself was created by the Obama administration — with Republican participation — to create an atmosphere of “urgency” that would force politicians to act. The U.S. debt is easily financed by investors who continue to pour their money into buying U.S. Treasury bills — so if not for Obama’s fiscal cliff, no debt crisis would exist.

The goal of the fiscal cliff is to scare the public into accepting that a debt crisis exists that requires historic cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and other popular social programs.

Politicians ignore the fact that Social Security is self funded, and therefore doesn’t contribute to the national debt. Politicians also ignore the fact that the U.S. debt is largely the result of bank bailouts, decades of steadily lower taxes on the rich and corporations, and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, combined with an insane military budget that subsidizes weapons manufacturers.

So how do Democrats and Republicans plan to address the fiscal cliff?

The pro-Democrat Huffington Post writes:

… President Barack Obama is proposing a grand bargain that would reduce the deficit by $4 trillion[!] over 10 years, relying on a 3-to-1 mix of spending cuts [to popular social programs] and revenue increases.

A 3-to-1 ratio is presented as a “compromise” or a “balanced” approach. Of course, it is entirely possible to have no cuts to social programs by raising revenue by taxing the rich and corporations who’ve accumulated literally trillions of dollars.

The Huffington Post continues:

… lawmakers [Democrats and Republicans] will likely target Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and a host of other social programs that help those with the fewest advocates in Washington, including people on food stamps, veterans, retiring federal workers, home health care workers and the elderly[!!].

The article also states that Obama “could be open” to raising the Medicare eligibility age to 67, and cutting Social Security in relation to inflation, by lowering the yearly cost of living adjustment for beneficiaries.

What has Labor’s response been to this madness? The President of the AFL-CIO, Richard Trumka, sent an interesting letter that congratulated union members on “their victory” (electing Obama), while saying only a few paragraphs later:

So it’s up to us to fight like hell for the working people in our communities. We need to work to make sure the rich pay their fair share, there are no cuts to our benefits, and programs that safeguard our country’s future — like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security — are safe for generations to come.

Well done! Even though Trumka fails to educate his members about the Democrats role in the grand bargain.

The next day the AFL-CIO announced that they had already begun a campaign to fight against these cuts (the Service Employees International Union has a similar campaign freshly launched):

Retirees, activists and members of progressive and faith communities will host close to 100 events targeting members of Congress during the upcoming Lame Duck session. Events will take place outside members’ offices, health clinics, Social Security offices, construction sites and other community locations.

This is a good start. But MUCH bigger mobilizations are needed, and FAST. Unions spent hundreds of millions of dollars to get “their” candidate elected, and now if labor would like to remain relevant in the eyes of the broader community, they’ll need to pony up and pour resources into fighting Obama’s grand bargain.

If labor helps lead a fightback against these cuts — as was done in Wisconsin and Chicago — there is potential to make new alliances with community groups and re-gain the broader communities’ support. This would also likely lead to more people wanting to join unions, since workers are attracted to strong, capable organizations that are prepared to defend their interests.

Countless polls have concluded that the vast majority of working people in the U.S. support taxing the rich (even Republican-voting workers) and they do not want to see cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. If the AFL-CIO and Change to Win coalitions lead a real fight with massive demonstrations that demand No Cuts and Tax the Rich, they could quickly change the public debate, and push back the two-party grand bargaining in Washington DC.

Organizing only small actions with limited resources guarantees defeat.
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


Local News

Pacifica-KPFK Archives, director resignation J18 4:50PM

SAVE KPFK & PACIFICA: VOTE IN THIS CRUCIAL ELECTION! J18 3:39PM

KPFK radio elections for LSB coming Quick ! J18 1:05PM

KPFK Local Station Board Elections In-Progress J13 11:31AM

Black Lives Matter Activist Jasmine Abdullah Sentenced Three Months in Jail on Attempted Lynching Charge J09 2:08AM

Why are the Park Rangers making it even more difficult for the homeless in Los Angeles? J04 3:11PM

Bernie Sanders in Lincoln Heights M23 8:23PM

Los Angeles Sit-In to Fight Voter Suppression M18 4:28AM

War Within California's 46th CD M13 11:42AM

NPR's David Greene & Alison Aubrey along with David Ludwig Shill For Factory Farm Eggs M13 7:55AM

2016 AT&T Shareholders engaged by Communications Workers of America D9 Activists M12 11:43PM

Communications Workers of America District 9 Action at AT&T Shareholders M12 9:38PM

Voter Registration at ELAC M10 3:31PM

LA Times Fails to Cover Protest Against Clinton M07 9:15PM

Violence Against Poor In Venice A29 12:59PM

California Safe Schools Honors 11 Year Old Daniel Randall A25 2:25PM

NPR's Marketplace: The Voice of Loanshark Capitalism A19 4:08PM

Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, Pandering to the Corporate Whores of the Storage Industry A09 5:03PM

Lartiste Maestro iTunes télécharger de la musique gratuit et Légalement 2016 A08 3:20PM

Spring 2016 National Immigrant Solidarity Network Monthly News Alert! A05 2:14PM

KPFK and Pacifica, more doings, reposted here A04 4:18PM

Liberated Political Prisoner Sekou Odinga Speaks Out M11 9:39AM

Solidarity With Anaheim M08 10:16AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Explanation of Strategy Countering Sacramento Fascism J28 3:35PM

Pepsi Brings Back Aspartame, Partners With Brutal KFC, Continues Monopoly Tactics J28 8:41AM

Biography Blocked By Bullies : ' burro ' ( fbi ), Facebook, Google J28 7:38AM

Social Inequality in the Descent Society J28 4:39AM

About me J27 11:47PM

Paraphysique du révolutionnarisme J27 11:05PM

Fbi hacks my reports as I type them J27 10:12PM

Filthy , foul, felonious ' phrenia ' fbi J27 8:16PM

Cruel monkey farms on trial in Hendry County J27 5:37PM

Senate Faces Puerto Rico Vote Before July 1 Deadline J27 8:07AM

Venezuelans Ransack Stores as Hunger Grips the Nation J26 2:56PM

Basta Ya, Brussels! British Voters Reject EU Corporte Slavestate J26 11:07AM

Fbi as human monsters J25 3:59PM

God hacks a border crossing J25 6:00AM

Evidence to indict fbi thugs J24 10:52AM

Mental dwarfs rule our world J23 5:32PM

The Shortwave Report 06/24/16 Listen Globally! J23 4:25PM

Crackbird Yukon misadventure J23 6:28AM

Paraphysique de sismographie politicarde J22 4:44AM

Sur negro / No Borders: new antiauthoritarian Web Series goes live J22 12:50AM

53 Of The Ways The World's Military Harm Animals J21 10:24AM

Non-Profits versus Profit Maximization J21 5:46AM

USA is run by the criminally insane J20 11:24PM

Recent assaults cleverly perpetrated by fbi J19 10:06PM

International Day of Solidarity With Oscar López Rivera J19 8:44PM

Encodage de l'encéphale, encodage du capital J19 12:41AM

Maoist Communist Party of the Philippines supports state burial for Ferdinand Marcos J18 7:10AM

High crimes committed by fbi / cia in the name of Americans J17 6:53PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2003 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy