imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

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



CopWatch LA


A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network: 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

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

SAG-AFTRA video game performers on strike O22 11:04PM

Stop Circus Animal Suffering – Protestors Urge Audiences to Shun the Wild Animal Circus O20 3:04PM

KPFK LSB statement on DAPL arrests O19 10:25AM

Transit Dependent Residents Need a Guaranteed Right to Stay O15 11:36PM

My letter to JJJ on JJJ O11 12:33PM

Prop 60, Condom Law O10 12:43PM

KPFK-Pacifica Radio Archives being sold off on ebay? O10 10:31AM

KPFK struggles without re-solutions O07 2:25PM

Problems with Measure M O05 5:24PM

Stop Circus Animal Suffering – Protestors Urge Audiences to Shun the Wild Animal Circus S07 5:57PM

Nuclear Shudown News Aufust 2016 A30 3:46PM

WIKIpedia is not what we readers Thought nor is it even current about Pacifica or KPFK A24 3:10PM

"KPFK has a $500,000 deficit “ !! Can this be true? A19 6:10AM

Nuclear Shutdown News July 2016 A01 1:36PM

A 99-page report "Election fraud" from Election Justice USA A01 4:14AM

INDY's KPFK radio program being eliminated ? too ? J10 4:57PM

Bertolt Brecht Testifies Before the House Un-American Activities Committee (1947) 2 min J02 3:04PM

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


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

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

I offer criminal indictments against fbi et al. O27 1:54AM

Logomachie extinctive O26 1:00AM

Video: Tom Hayden, Listen Yankee! 2015 O25 10:56AM

(A-Radio) Presentation: the Prison Strike in the USA 2016 O25 8:41AM

Clinton beginning informal talks with congressional Republicans O24 11:45PM

Video: Noam Chomsky: The Alien Perspective on Humanity, 51 min O24 7:43AM

renewed US pressure on Australia to line up against China O24 12:30AM

Art About Privilege Censored on Facebook O23 3:16AM

Paraphysique de la folie O23 2:21AM

Vote if you want to serve on a jury. O22 2:37PM

Washington moves to silence WikiLeaks O22 2:12AM

The class struggle of th Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson O22 2:09AM

What is behind the anti-Russia campaign in the US? O22 1:51AM

The Supposed "Omnipotence" of Politicians O21 10:52AM


Philippines: Duterte’s first 100 days O21 4:01AM

Fbi/police community is a threat to our people O20 11:24PM

The Shortwave Report 10/21/16 Listen Globally! O20 5:01PM

Film/TV Composer Megan Cavallari to Receive the FAHF Humanitarian Award O20 2:18PM

NYC Councilwoman sponsors ground-breaking bill prohibiting wild and exotic animal displays O19 10:22AM

Paraphysique de l'aidance O19 2:57AM

Hallmarks of f b i O18 9:43PM

Sylvia Opens October 21 at Odyssey Theatre; Tanna Frederick Stars O18 11:13AM


What the Narcissists Have Done to Our Jobs and Health O18 4:48AM

Fbi as human monster O18 1:16AM

Fbi as human monster O17 11:50PM

Barbouzerie collusive O16 4:37AM

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