Stewart Acuff

Jan 2

NYE Deal: A Recap

Our work and the work of Americans like us paid off with a significant victory in the last two days in the resolution of the so-called fiscal cliff fight.

The teabaggers and the rightwing Republican Members of Congress were soundly thumped and outmaneuvered by President Obama and his bargaining toughness.

Let’s recap (and forgive me if I miss a detail – it’s been a moving target).

– After the strong threat to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid: none of these these critical programs were touched.

– Tax cuts for us and 98% of the American people were made permanent while taxes on the richest 2% went up.

– Long term unemployment benefits were extended.

– Draconian federal budget cuts in the federal budget which could have plunged the country deeper into the economic ditch were stopped.

With our nation slowly digging our way out of this economic crisis, which was started by George Bush and a reckless and drunken Wall Street, the last thing we needed were cuts to programs that keep our veterans and elders alive.

All this happened because of the strong lobbying by you and millions of others like you and a progressive Democratic President who refused to be bullied any more by a morally and strategically radical rightwing Republican Party. Pop another cork.

Some of us on our side will criticize elements of the deal because the tax increases begin at $400,000 instead of $250,000. Compared to overall issues, this is a tiny concession.

Happy New Year!!! I had a wonderful Holiday Season. I sincerely hope you did as well. I got lots of time with my kids and Santa brought them everything they wanted. The Almighty has blessed us.

Let us not lose sight of the context of exploding inequality. We won a major fight that would have made inequality much, much worse and could have cost the lives of thousands of our elders, disabled vets, and other disabled folks – and we kept the the radical right Republicans from plunging our nation into deeper economic crisis.


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Stewart Acuff is the former organizing Director of the AFL-CIO. Acuff has also written two books: Playing Bigger Than You Are: A Life in Organizing, and Getting America Back to Work.

Playing Bigger Than You Are - A Life in OrganizingGet the e-book edition of Playing Bigger Than You Are by clicking here!

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