by Jon Melegrito | July 09, 2012
AFSCME members Bill Chenowith (left) and Dale Chase attended the White House ceremony where President Obama called on Congress to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for people who make less than $250,000 a year. (Photo by Jon Melegrito)
AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders hailed President Obama’s announcement today calling on Congress to pass a one-year extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for people earning less than $250,000 a year. The tax cuts are set to expire on Jan. 1.
“At a time when millions of Americans struggle to make ends meet, the President has taken a course of action that responsibly protects the middle class, the backbone of our economy,” Saunders said. “It’s time for tax breaks for the wealthy to expire and to have them pay their fair share. We agree with the President that our number one priority is to create new jobs and restore the nation’s economic health.”
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) categorizes tax cuts for the wealthiest as the least effective way to stimulate economic growth.
“Most people agree we should not raise taxes on middle-class families or small businesses,” Pres. Obama said, appearing in the East Room with families and workers who would benefit from the initiative. “Not when so many people are trying to get by.”
Attending the ceremony were two AFSCME members from Local 3085 (Maryland Council 67): Dale Chase, a Howard County master electrician and president of Council 67, and Bill Chenowith, a county waste water treatment plant operator.
“I’m heartened by the President’s action to ensure economic security for working families,” Chase said. “Because of the economic crisis, we’ve been hit with furloughs, layoffs, no cost of living increases and a loss of purchasing power. The 1 percent have done very well. We need a fair distribution of the tax burden, now more than ever.”
Adds Chenowith: “We’ve been having a hard time making house payments and putting food on the table for our families. By putting the needs of middle-class working families above those of the rich who don’t need any more tax breaks, President Obama is moving us forward to economic recovery.”