By Al Ekblad, Executive Secretary of the Montana AFL-CIO
The working middle class isn’t greedy. We’re the backbone of society and the American economy. We work hard, we pay our taxes, and we play by the rules. When we make a promise we keep it and we expect the same of others.
Unfortunately, Congress seems ready to stuff our stockings full of coal so that the wealthiest 1% can wake up to another Rolls Royce in the driveway on Christmas morning.
But, just in case anyone is listening, here is the Montana Labor Movement’s Christmas wish list. It’s pretty short.
1. Strengthen Medicare and Medicaid, instead of passing a tax bill and budget that includes $5 trillion in budget cuts, including $1.5 trillion in cuts to Medicaid and Medicare, an increase in the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67, and an end to Medicare’s guarantee of health coverage.
2. Keep Social Security solvent by rejecting the GOP tax bill that isn’t paid for and will cost even more in future decades.
3. Give the middle class a break, not the wealthiest 1%. According to independent analysis of the previous version of the GOP tax plan, 30% of households making between $50,000 and $150,000 would pay more in taxes, while the richest 1% would walk away with 80% of the tax breaks. Republicans have made some adjustments to their tax bill, but it still is heavily weighted toward the top.
4. Strengthen public education instead of redirecting public tax dollars to private schools.
5. Elected leaders working to find real solutions to the problems of a changing economy that is creating the highest level of income inequality in the last 100 years instead of doing the will of their corporate masters.
The middle class is the driving force that built our great country. It has never been benevolent leaders or the financial class. Workers built this county.
It’s time they get a fair deal from our government.