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Labor In Revolt: Unions Representing 17 Million Workers Sign Letter Opposing ‘Gang Of Six’ Deal

By Zaid Jilani on July 21, 2011 at 2:56 pm

"Labor In Revolt: Unions Representing 17 Million Workers Sign Letter Opposing ‘Gang Of Six’ Deal"

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Earlier this week, a bipartisan group of senators revealed their “Gang of Six” deficit reduction plan, which aims to narrow cut the deficit by $3.7 trillion over the next ten years.

The plan does this in a variety of ways. It sets out spending reduction targets for a variety of government agencies and spending areas — including, admirably, defense — and would also cut entitlement programs. It aims for $500 billion of cuts in the short-term, and the rest of the cuts would be spaced out. It also would lower corporate tax rates while closing other loopholes; it leans heavily towards cutting spending rather than raising revenues.

With respect to Social Security, the plan would set up a process for “reform” in the future, with the aim of ensuring future solvency of the program. The plan would, however, required reduced benefits for seniors that could amount up to $1,300 annual cuts in benefits for the oldest seniors, thanks to a way it would change the program’s adjustments for inflation.

Now, four major national labor unions — the AFLCIO, AFSCME, SEIU, and NEA — representing 17 million workers have written an open letter to Congress declaring their opposition to the plan, condemning its planned cuts to Social Security and lowering of tax rates on corporations and the wealthy:

The letter concludes, “As Congress tackles the economic challenges facing this country, we urge you to put the highest priority on low- and middle-income families by focusing on job creation, demanding shared sacrifice, and ensuring that all Americans have a path to the middle class, while avoiding policies that increase economic inequality or destroy jobs. The Gang of Six proposal fails every one of these tests.” (HT: @RickSmithShow)

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