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AFL-CIO Now

Working Families Rally to Oppose Cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid

Photo by Kenneth Quinnell.
More than 1,500 people rallied on Capitol Hill Tuesday in support of working families and to tell Congress not to make any benefit cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.  They also told Congress to close tax loopholes for big corporations and the wealthiest 2% and to prevent the sequester from going into effect and harming the country. Throughout the rally, working families spoke with a unified voice calling for "jobs, not cuts."

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said the sequester was nothing more than a scare tactic:

The opponents of working people are always coming up with technical terms to scare good people into accepting bad ideas, ideas like sequestration. Let me tell you something. Sequestration is nothing but a word. Nothing but a long word with a simple purpose, and that’s to hide a bad idea—that we can cut our way to a prosperous future.

Trumka emphasized that unity was important for working families:

....The American people are tired of downgrading the American dream. Remember that old phrase that a rising tide lifts all boats? John F. Kennedy said that back in the 1960s, and it’s true. And the opposite is true, too. An outgoing tide leaves everybody high and dry.

Lee Saunders, president of AFSCME, called for specific policies that would help Americans:

Our nation can only get stronger through investment. We don’t need additional cuts to vital programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. We must get people back to work. We need jobs—good jobs that will take care of families. We need good jobs that will support neighborhoods and communities. We need good jobs that will grow our economy. We can only fix our broken economy by building up, not cutting back.

AFGE President J. David Cox warned that sequestration proponents are going after government workers. The Hill reported Cox saying:

They want to see our red. They want to see us bleed. They just want to kill us. Death by a thousand cuts, brothers and sisters. I’m not interested in going that way....We have to end this sequestration madness right now.

Participating in the rally were members from numerous unions and their allies, including: AFL-CIO, AFGE, AFSCME, Postal Workers (APWU), Communications Workers of America (CWA), Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), Electrical Workers (IBEW), Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT), Working America, the Teamsters (IBT) and the DC-SEIU Fight For a Fair Economy chapter from Washington, D.C.

 
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