03 Jun 2009

Taxing Health Benefits Could Kill Health Care Reform

In recent days, two generally progressive commentators have written in favor of taxing all or part of the value of employer provided health benefits as a way of paying for some of the costs of health care reform. They’ve suggested that AFSCME might “kill” health care reform because of our opposition to taxing the value of benefits. Of course we reject that characterization of our efforts.

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23 Apr 2009

The Roadblock Republicans: 100 Days of Saying No to Progress

Every day, more Americans get a pink slip, more stores shutter their doors and more families find the American Dream growing dimmer and farther from their grasp. Our 1.6 million members are on the frontlines of this crisis. The vital services they provide are taking huge hits – which means communities are suffering.

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04 Mar 2009

The Big Lie about the Employee Free Choice Act

America’s top CEOs — the clueless millionaires whose greed, ignorance and arrogance drove our economy off a cliff — have declared their top legislative priority for 2009. It isn’t the president’s budget. It’s not promoting jobs or health care for their workers. And it’s certainly not limits on CEO pay.

Instead, they’ve launched an all out campaign to scuttle bi-partisan legislation that would restore workers’ freedom to form unions and bargain for a better life.

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26 Feb 2009

President Obama is Right: Health Care Reform Cannot Wait

On Tuesday night, President Obama spoke to the nation about how we will rebuild our economy. Like many Americans, I was heartened to hear him renew his commitment to pursue health care reform and to do it THIS YEAR. He told us that the “cost of our health care has weighed down our economy and the conscience of our nation long enough.” And he is right.

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13 Feb 2009

We Now Have Reason to Hope

America is losing 20,000 jobs a day. Unemployment just hit 7.6% and states are looking at shortfalls this fiscal year that amount to 14% of their total budgets. Current projections for the next fiscal year are deficits that total 17% of budgets. And fiscal year 2011 is shaping up to be just as bad. That is why AFSCME made an economic recovery bill the top legislative priority in our “Make America Happen” campaign – our effort to win long term investment in public services, reform health care and strengthen the middle class through the Employee Free Choice Act.

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06 Feb 2009

End the Madness of Excessive CEO Pay

or years, AFSCME has been leading the fight to rein in the grotesque and excessive paychecks that unaccountable boards of directors have been giving too many of America’s CEOs. We’ve fought shareholder battles and taken our case to the media, arguing that directors who approve exorbitant salaries for executives cheat shareholders and workers. We created a network of institutional and individual investors that fights to get shareowners a voice on executive compensation packages and in the boardrooms of major corporations. But the CEOs want their sky-high pay guaranteed even when they fail, so they’ve fought us every step of the way, building thick walls of resistance to pay reform.

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30 Jan 2009

Put Our Economy Back on Track

This week’s historic vote by the House of Representatives in favor of President Obama’s plan to revitalize our economy and protect the jobs of millions of working Americans is proof that the change we voted for has finally arrived. The House acted boldly to protect jobs and create opportunity by passing President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestmant Plan. Against a backdrop of a worsening economic crisis that resulted in last year’s loss of 2.6 million American jobs, and layoffs that accelerated in the early part of 2009, President Obama’s plan will create or save three to four million jobs, strengthen our middle class, and improve the economy in the near and long term. As Americans face the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, we need to work together to put our economy back on track by passing this legislation.

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16 Jan 2009

“The Fierce Urgency of Now”

President John F. Kennedy called Inauguration Day “a celebration of freedom – symbolizing an end, as well as a beginning – signifying renewal, as well as change.” This year, that is dramatically true. President-elect Barack Obama will place his hand on the same Bible President Abraham Lincoln used to take the oath of office. When he does so, at noon on Tuesday, Americans of every party will celebrate both renewal and a long-needed change.

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16 Jan 2009

“The Fierce Urgency of Now”

President John F. Kennedy called Inauguration Day “a celebration of freedom – symbolizing an end, as well as a beginning – signifying renewal, as well as change.” This year, that is dramatically true. President-elect Barack Obama will place his hand on the same Bible President Abraham Lincoln used to take the oath of office. When he does so, at noon on Tuesday, Americans of every party will celebrate both renewal and a long-needed change.

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15 Jan 2009

Make America Happen. . . Again

Not since the darkest days of the Great Depression has an American President taken office with so many challenges awaiting him. But here’s the good news: America has overcome similar challenges before. And we can do it again.

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