The budget proposal President Obama gave Republicans yesterday "keeps faith with the voters in last month’s election, who overwhelmingly opposed tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% of Americans and benefit cuts to Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare," says AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.
The ball is now in the Republicans’ court. Unfortunately, Republicans do not seem to have learned the lessons from their shellacking at the polls in November. They are still insisting on the very things voters rejected so resoundingly: tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% and benefit cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
Trumka says Republicans are holding the economy hostage in the lame-duck budget debate by refusing to continue tax cuts for working families and extended unemployment insurance unless they get their way.
"Republicans are overplaying their hand," Trumka says.
Unlike last year, Democrats now have all the negotiating leverage, and Republican hostage-taking threatens not just the economy, but the future of the Republican Party. The question moderate Republicans should begin to ponder seriously is whether they will allow the dead-ender caucus to push their party over the “cliff” of political marginalization.
It is time somebody stood up to the Republican hostage-takers. Working families are telling Congress: no benefit cuts to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid and no more tax cuts for the wealthiest 2%.