This is a huge relief for the more than 1.4 million long-term job seekers who already have lost their emergency unemployment benefits. But this deal comes at a terrible price: It rewards obstructionists with huge tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires.
To get their way, Senate Republicans terrorized millions of jobless workers—making them live in fear for months as cold weather and the holidays approached. Some of our jobless brothers and sisters lost the ability to warm their homes or put food on the table and gas in the car. Some working families even lost their homes to the Big Banks that caused our economic meltdown—all so Senate Republicans could get tax breaks for the rich. These tax cuts throw away precious resources needed for investments in jobs and will do very little to propel economic growth.
Senate Republicans have shown themselves to be morally bankrupt hypocrites. They capitalized on the hardships of our country’s most vulnerable people to extract tax cuts for their rich friends, like the top executives of Goldman Sachs. Just yesterday, they reported they’d be splitting $111 million in bonuses this January. They’ll save millions on their taxes—money that should go toward fixing the mess they helped create.
And we know this is not the end. Soon, the same lawmakers who fought to get tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires will be coming after your Social Security and Medicare. Count on it. They’ll say we need to have “shared sacrifice”—but they won’t ask Wall Street and moneyed interests to share in the sacrifice required to clean up the mess they created. Instead, they’ll come after working people.
If it wasn’t clear already, it’s clear now: We’re going to have quite a fight on our hands between now and 2012. We’ll need your help to preserve vital middle-class programs—and to beat back these deficit hypocrites at every turn.
Here’s what I’m asking you to do. Sign up for the front lines by pulling out your mobile phone right now. Send a text message with the word DEAL to 225568—we’ll send urgent alerts to your mobile phone when deficit hypocrites try to defraud the middle class by launching attacks on our Social Security, Medicare and more in 2011.
We must vigorously oppose solving our country’s long-term financial problems on the backs of working people. If the America we all love is going to survive this century—or even this decade—we’ve got to find a way to restore balance in our politics and our economy.
How do we use our power to escape caving in to Wall Street and moneyed interests? And how do we create the millions of jobs we need now and move toward a future of broadly shared prosperity? I don’t have all the answers today. But I do know we can’t keep doing what we’re doing now. I know we have to fight harder and louder and more creatively—and I know we can only win together.
Please pull out your mobile phone and text the word DEAL to 225568. We’ll keep you updated on our fight to stop deficit hypocrites from stealing our hard-earned Social Security and Medicare benefits.
Two years ago, working Americans had high hopes we would ultimately emerge from the deep, punishing financial debacle with a sharp focus on a fundamentally stronger, fairer and more balanced economy. We can’t throw in the towel and give up now. Too much is at stake. We’ve got to redouble our efforts and fight harder than ever to move forward for working people. And we need you standing with us.
Richard L. Trumka