AFL-CIO union leaders, a day after claiming credit for Barack Obama's re-election, staged events across the nation and in Omaha Thursday to press Congress not to cut Medicare, Social Security or Medicaid benefits.
They also want Congress and the president to raise taxes on the highest-earning 2 percent of Americans by allowing some George W. Bush-era tax cuts to expire.
Unions planned rallies or press conferences in about 100 U.S. cities Thursday. In Nebraska, nine men representing a variety of organized labor and retiree groups spoke to reporters on a sidewalk outside the west Omaha office of U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb.
Nelson, a retiring member of the lame-duck Congress who in the past supported extending the Bush-era tax cuts to all taxpayers, was not there.
Ken E. Mass, president of the Nebraska State AFL-CIO, said labor leaders wanted to thank Nelson for his past support and to urge him and the rest of the Nebraska delegation to solve federal budget problems without cutting programs he described as social insurance.
Working families need more economic security, not less, Mass said. He said Congress can prevent massive job layoffs by acting to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff of mandatory budget cuts and expiring tax cuts.
Mass called the Bush-era tax cuts for the highest earning Americans “a monumental failure” and said the nation cannot afford them.
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