Wall Street, Oil Prices and America’s Future

The budget passed by House Republicans keeps $40 billion in tax loopholes for Big Oil and gives $4.2 trillion in new tax cuts to corporations and the rich. It pays for these tax breaks by destroying Medicare as we know it-and replacing it with underfunded vouchers. It also demolishes services for seniors, children and low- and middle-income Americans. Demand that your senators and President Obama do the right thing and reject any deal that meets radical House Republicans halfway.

Brothers and Sisters,

Wall Street traders and oil company executives are raking it in. And working people are paying the price. Food and oil prices, inflated by speculators, are hammering the middle class. Rising gas prices are expected to inflate Exxon Mobil Corp.'s profits by more than 50 percent.

But rather than bringing relief to working Americans, House Republicans are stretching the middle class to the breaking point. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.)-who wrote the House Republican budget-won't even back President Obama's proposal to eliminate tax breaks for Big Oil and Gas companies, let alone consider commonsense ideas like a modest financial speculation tax that would bring balance back to our economy.

Urge your senators and President Obama to reject any deal that meets House Republicans halfway and worsens the imbalance in our economy.

What happened in Wisconsin, Ohio and other states-and what's happening in Washington, D.C. right now-is a power grab, plain and simple. A few of the most privileged people in our society-people so awash in wealth that they can influence politics-are doing everything they can to strangle the middle class and the union movement because they think this will help them accumulate even more wealth, and even more power.

These wealthy few are being driven by ideological extremism. How else could they pass a budget that destroys Medicare and eliminates an estimated 1.7 million to 2.2 million jobs, right when we're in the middle of a jobs crisis?

Tell your senators and President Obama that we can't negotiate on our core principles.

We must stop ideologues who are willing to cause more despair, more layoffs, more foreclosures, more struggling businesses, more failing banks and a steeper downward cycle from destroying the America we believe in.

Urge your U.S. senators and President Obama to fight for working people by demanding a budget that:

1. Creates jobs instead of destroying them.

2. Restores balance by raising taxes on the rich and corporations, instead of cutting them.

3. Protects Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and investments in education instead of cutting them.

Send a clear message urging your senators and President Obama to stand with working families and reject the House Robin-Hood-in-reverse budget.

In Solidarity,

Richard L. Trumka President, AFL-CIO

P.S. In 2010, the average pay of a CEO at a major American company went up by 23 percent-to $11.4 million. CEOs have seen explosive income growth-and declining tax burdens-for years. But somehow, that isn't good enough.

Many corporate CEOs are using their money and political influence to try to make average Americans work 'til we die. And for those of us lucky enough to live to see retirement, they want to limit lifesaving medical care for seniors, replacing Medicare with massively underfunded vouchers.

Working people are always willing to roll up our sleeves and get to work to fix America, including our long-term budget problems. But it's got to be done in a fair way. Working 'til we die-and giving up health security and dignity in our old age-is not fair.

Tell your senators and President Obama that working people are ready to get to work to fix the economy-but we won't tolerate a budget balanced on the backs of working Americans, retirees and our children.  

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