Yesterday the AFL-CIO learned President Obama's budget will cut Social Security and Medicare benefits for working families. The so-called "chained" CPI will cut Social Security benefits and middle-income seniors (people who made $47,000 a year and more) will be asked to pay higher Medicare premiums.
Wall Street wrecked the economy and banks still are refusing to work with people who are trying to stay in their homes. The Campaign for a Fair Settlement, along with other partners, is calling on President Obama over the next 100 days to champion an agenda that would:
1. Hold bankers accountable for their crimes.
2. Keep people in their homes by resetting their mortgages.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka released the following statement in response to President Obama's 2013 State of the Union address:
"Tonight President Obama sent a clear message to the world that he will stand and fight for working America’s values and priorities. And with the foundation he laid, working families will fight by his side to build an economy that works for all."
On Tuesday, President Obama will give the first State of the Union Address of his second term in office and working families are happy to hear the focus will be jobs and the economy. This year’s address comes after an election in which America’s families made a clear choice between very different visions for the country.
Across the country, working people will be watching and listening with great interest for the president to maintain the values and priorities on which they elected him, including a commitment to creating middle-class jobs, asking the wealthiest 2% to pay their fair share and protecting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid from benefit cuts.
The New York Times posted an editorial today highlighting the need for high-paying American jobs, a shift from austerity to investments in our infrastructure and economy and strengthening workers' rights to collectively bargain for a voice on the job. The Times is publishing a series of editorials "on what President Obama and Congress should tackle in the next four years.” Other editorials can be found here.
But DREAMer Rafael Lopez reminds us that it will take real hard work and persistence to make citizenship a reality for the millions of aspiring Americans. Check out Lopez's thoughts in the YouTube video in the post.
President Obama is announcing his plan for comprehensive immigration reform and a road map to citizenship today at 2:55 p.m. EST. Tune into the live feed from the White House here, and follow live updates from the AFL-CIO delegation that is at Del Sol High School to hear the president speak.
In his second inaugural speech, President Obama stated, "We understand that outworn programs are inadequate to the needs of our time. We must harness new ideas and technology to remake our government, revamp our tax code, reform our schools, and empower our citizens with the skills they need to work harder, learn more, and reach higher."
The prospects for comprehensive immigration reform are the highest in years. Politicians on both sides of the aisle are currently negotiating a bill, and President Obama has stated that it is one of his top legislative priorities in 2013. Speculation abounds as to what may be included in a final package but, generally speaking, comprehensive reform of our immigration system would consist of four interconnected parts: border security, internal and worksite immigration enforcement, a system to manage future immigration to the United States and a road map to citizenship for the undocumented population currently living here. The union movement has a unified framework, which addresses these points.
During President Obama's second inaugural address yesterday, he affirmed we're stronger when we work together:
But we have always understood that when times change, so must we; that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges; that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action. For the American people can no more meet the demands of today’s world by acting alone....No single person can train all the math and science teachers we’ll need to equip our children for the future, or build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores. Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation and one people.