President Obama Leads The Way On Tax Cuts For The 99%

“We tried what they’re selling,” Obama said of the tax cuts that Romney and Republicans want to leave in place for all income levels. “It didn’t work and somehow they think you don’t remember.”

President Barrack Obama on the 2012 campaign trail

After the President delivered his speech, this week, Mary Kay Henry, President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), issued the following statement:

“Today, President Obama showed the leadership we need to restore fairness to our tax system. By calling on Congress to extend tax cuts for families making $250,000 or less, the President is standing up for the 99 percent and insisting that the wealthy pay their fair share.

“We all must pay our fair share in taxes. The President is leading the way, now it is time for Congress to take up the tax debate in a serious manner, extend tax cuts for middle class families and end tax giveaways to those who don’t need them.”

What might an alternative look like?  Well, if Mitt Romney is elected, it’s likely the American public would see him and Republicans in Congress cut taxes for their wealthy 1% friends by reinstating Bush’s tax breaks for them.  We need to work toward electing leaders, not panderers, who will represent the interests of the 99% in America, not the richest 1%.

Before his speech on Monday, he said during his weekly Saturday radio address that the United States needs to do more than just reclaim jobs lost to the recession, as he called for rebuilding the economy to make it secure for future generations. “Our mission isn’t just to put people back to work – it’s to rebuild an economy where that work pays; an economy in which everyone who works hard has the chance to get ahead,” said Saturday the United States needs to do more than just reclaim jobs lost to the recession, as he called for rebuilding the economy to make it secure for future generations.

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New SEIU Report: Banks Shortchanged Schools

SEIU Minnesota has issued a report titled I.O.U.: How Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank Have Shortchanged Minnesota Schools that lays some of the blame for a $2.4 billion school shift and other shortfalls in school funding on the practices of the state’s largest banks and their executives. (more…)

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SEIU members among Minnesotans at Wells Fargo shareholders meeting in San Francisco to press for economic justice

San Francisco Wells Fargo & Co. braced for revolts at its annual shareholder meeting this week as well as outside in the streets of San Francisco. Demonstrators from around the country poured into town to complain about its lofty executive pay, alleged disregard for troubled homeowners and a host of other issues. (more…)

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Direct new investments towards frontline caregivers so that we preserve quality of care!

SEIU POSITION: Increase state funding for long-term care reimbursement rates by 5% in the next fiscal year. The new resources must be directed to caregivers
so that facilities can improve the quality of care they provide to Minnesota’s sick,
elderly and disabled adults.

BACKGROUND: For the past five years, long-term care workers
have struggled to maintain an adequate level of care for residents and clients
despite flat or minimal funding increases (0% in FY04, 0% in FY05, 2.26% in FY06,
and 2.25% in FY07). As the industry faces this financial crisis, it has begun to cut into the most important element of quality care – front-line caregivers. Low pay, unaffordable health insurance, and high rates of workplace injury all lead to high rates of employee burn out and turnover throughout the industry. Not only do workers in nursing homes suffer the impact of inadequate funding, but so do their residents and consumers, who are the elderly, disabled and sick members of our society. Inadequate funding means fewer staff working longer hours for less pay.

Current law calls for no across-the-board COLA increase in FY09. Instead, money was set aside to begin a process of bringing nursing home rates up to date with actual costs. This is called “rebasing.” Unfortunately, the money set aside wouldn’t even buy a 2% increase if it were spread across all homes, and worse, the rebasing formula leaves some homes with no increase at all. Until a good formula is developed, money should be dedicated to COLAs.

Instead of going forward with a flawed rebalancing process, we say delay the process for a year to give stakeholders a year to put a better plan together. The FY09 funding increase of 1.87% should be a straight across-the-board COLA funding increase. In addition, we propose that the COLA be increased by 3.13% to produce a total 5% COLA rate increase in the coming year. Finally, the legislature should continue its policy of directing 75% of the new money to hands on staff and giving workers the information and leverage (e.g. union sign-off clauses) to ensure that the dollars targeted to workers actually go to workers.

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