Richard Trumka – President, AFL-CIO: Posted: February 16, 2011 09:17 AM
No job safety inspections while inspectors are furloughed for up to three months. No food safety inspections while inspectors are off the job for more than a month. Ten thousand teachers and aides cut from struggling schools and 7,000 special education teachers and staff gone. State and local job training and employment services phased out for up to 8 million workers. Medicare and Social Security operations crippled. Fewer local police officers. Wall Street reform stymied. Policing of the financial practices that sank our economy gutted. More than 340,000 transportation jobs killed.
I could go on and on and on for a dozen pages listing the real-world effects of the outrageously unworkable FY 2011 budget cuts House Republicans are trying to pass right now.
This isn’t “fiscal responsibility” or “deficit control.” It’s about the most bald-faced assault on America’s middle class I’ve ever seen — and clear political payback to CEOs who poured millions into the 2010 elections. CEOs don’t like job safety regulations, so the politicians they elected are trying to cut the funding and fire the inspectors. CEOs don’t want environmental safeguards, energy improvements or curbs on health insurance companies, so their politicians are pushing to just defund the programs.
The team of Wall Street CEOs and the politicians they support dug a massive deficit hole by tanking the economy and handing massive tax cuts to the very rich. Now they’re throwing the middle class into that hole and shoveling on the dirt.
To the voting public, the 2010 election was about one thing: Jobs. And jobs are still their top concern. But instead of creating jobs, the House Republicans’ slash-and-burn campaign would cost hundreds of thousands of jobs and destroy services ordinary Americans rely on every day. Meanwhile, CEOs who enjoy record profits and huge bonuses aren’t being asked to sacrifice a damn thing–and the politicians pushing these cuts are secure in their taxpayer-funded pay and benefits.
Cuts of the magnitude the House Republicans propose for the remainder of this fiscal year would propel us squarely in the wrong direction — toward an America we do not want to be.
This federal budget madness echoes pound-foolish actions we’re seeing in state after state, where Republican legislators and governors elected with lucrative CEO support are ignoring the jobs crisis and playing politics as usual with the lives of working families. Govs. Scott Walker in Wisconsin and John Kasich in Ohio are determined to end collective bargaining for public employees and deflate good middle-class jobs — Walker is so determined he’s threatened t