NEWSLETTER: The Election was so Yesterday. Today is The Action.

 

TENNESSEE CITIZEN ACTION NEWSLETTER
Monday, December 10, 2012


 

THE ELECTION WAS SO YESTERDAY, TODAY IS THE ACTION


OK, the Election was not literally yesterday, but it’s like it was only yesterday, right? And The Action is not just today, but ongoing – until members of Congress get it together and decide that cutting vital service programs and earned benefits like Social Security and Medicare is not an option.

 


THE AFL-CIO BRINGS THE DEETS (A.K.A. “WHAT THE BUDGET SHOWDOWN MEANS FOR TENNESSEANS”)


Details from the AFL-CIO:

“In a post-election ‘lame-duck’ session, Congress takes on high-stakes decisions with major consequences for workers and the economy—from tax cuts for the wealthy to benefit cuts for Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare.

Working families are urging Congress to keep America’s promises to the middle class and make sure the wealthiest pay their fair share.”

Download the Tennessee fact sheet here that  shows the average Bush tax cut for people making more than and less than $250,000 as well as the importance of Social, Medicare and Medicaid to state residents.


BEWARE OF “FIX THE DEBT”

Oh sure, it sounds like a good organization based on a good idea but who are they really and what are they trying to do?

The Institute for Policy Studies has released a new report on the “Fix the Debt” campaign which analyzes the retirement policies of the U.S. corporations leading the campaign.

While they are calling for cuts to Social Security and Medicare to avoid economic disaster, the corporations leading this campaign are funneling enormous sums into their CEO retirement accounts while underfunding their employee pension funds.

Long story short, they are contributing to Americans’ retirement insecurity while giving themselves golden parachutes. Read the full report (PDF).


WHO PAYS?

Who Pays
Members of Congress will be deciding who pays – millionaires or middle class families through cuts in vital social services like Medicare and Medicaid.

Who do you think can afford to pay, Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of General Electric and one of the corporate CEOs pushing to cut earned benefits, or Dean Singler
USAction Member
and one of the millions of Americans who rely on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid? Let’s take a look…

  • Jeffrey Immelt has a $53 million retirement account, made $7 million from GE in 2011, and saved $324,000 because of the Bush tax cuts.
  • Dean Singler says, “I took care of a disabled and increasingly ill wife for 29 years. Without Medicare and Medicaid, we would have lost our home and she would have died years earlier, without proper care or prescription coverage. Her ability to see doctors and get in-home care kept us from becoming burdens to the community and allowed me to continue working. 
    This was better for the economy, since I remained a taxpayer as long as I could.”

If you had the economic security of Jeffrey Immelt, would you support an organization like “Fix the Debt” that fights to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits?


TAKE ACTION

If you take action TODAY you will join thousands of others from Tennessee Citizen Action, USAction, AFL-CIO, SEIU, Americans for Tax Fairness, MoveOn, and others who are calling on Congress and demanding solutions.

Call your member of Congress at 1-888-344-0683 and ask them to side with Dean Singler and other middle class families, not corporate CEO’s who already have retirement security.

Urge them to:

    1. Support passing the middle-class tax cuts for 98 percent of American taxpayers and ending those tax cuts for the richest 2 percent
    2. Protect earned benefitslike Medicare and Social Security from ANY cuts.

When you call 1-888-344-0683 you will be prompted to enter your zip code and then immediately connected to your member of Congress.

Or, call your Congressman directly:

  • Congressman Phil Roe (R – 01) – (202) 225-6356
  • Congressman John J. Duncan, Jr. (R – 02) – (202) 225-5435
  • Congressman Chuck Fleischmann (R – 03) – (202) 225-327
  • Congressman Scott DesJarlais (R – 04) – (202) 225-6831
  • Congressman Jim Cooper (D – 05) – (202) 225-4311
  • Congressman Diane Black (R – 06) – (202) 225-4231
  • Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R – 07) – (202) 225-2811
  • Congressman Stephen Fincher (R – 08) – (202) 225-4714
  • Congressman Steve Cohen (D – 09) – (202) 225-3265

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE ACTION

Interested in volunteering to end the Bush Tax Cuts? Sign up here. Do you have a personal story to tell like Dean Singler? Tell it here.

Connect with The Action

Events to urge members of congress to do the right thing are being organized all over the state. Check out the links below to find an event in your area or sign up to hold an event.

Upcoming Days of Action

  • December 13th – Young Adults Campus events
    Where can we get youth holding phone banks on campuses to ask their Members to get back to work extending middle class tax cuts so they can afford school. Ideas: students calling/writing their member of congress!
  • December 12 – 14th
    Welcome members of congress home at the airport (and have signs asking them to get back to work passing middle class tax cuts)
  • December 18 – 20th
    Small Business Day of Action HUGE PRIORITY– we need 3-4 small business owners in each media market we could do a press conference, round table, editorial board interviews
  • December 20th
    Faith Day of Action: start building a list of faith leaders willing to sign a letter and do press event

How You Can Help

  • Host a Letter Writing Event: write letters to Members of Congress, Letters to Editor, Letters for Blogs, etc!
  • Host a phone bank: calling your Member of Congress, recruiting other volunteers to write letters
  • Organize a rally: if interested in organizing a rally press event sign up!
  • Share your story: take a photo of what $2,000 means to you and why you want to extend middle class tax cuts – here is an example.
  • Record yourself calling your house member!
  • Share your story:  
    • small business owners who doesn’t make more than $250,000 and need customers 
    • veterans who want to see veteran benefits protected
    • seniors/medicare recipients who understand it’s an earned benefit and want millionaires to pay their share
    • students counting the middle class tax cut to pay for tuition, books
    • mothers of students
    • high income earners who feel patriotic about paying your share
    • teachers/parents who don’t want to see class sizes grow

Thank you for all you do!


TENNESSEE GENERAL ASSEMBLY INFILTRATED BY CYBORGS

MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry made a really good point when she said on her show on Saturday that “our fiscal policy is under attack from amoral cyborgs.”

Congress and the President have some huge decisions to make. Decisions between two very different visions for how to address our nation’s problems. And it’s our future – our nation’s and our families’ future – that’s at stake.

But she also questioned the very definition of the fiscal crisis used by both sides. In other words, you may ask yourself, “How did we get here?”

“The panicked talk of the “fiscal cliff” masks the real crisis facing our country, the one manufactured by those…corporations that our politicians have allowed to thrive off of our democratic life’s blood. What is missing in the urgency of this January 1st manufactured deadline is any talk of the very real fiscal foibles plaguing our country. We have continued to ignore the ways in which policy systematically created a government for and by the corporate entity.

So when Republicans ask for a “balanced approach” or when Democrats ask for top earners to “pay their fair share” both sides are still ignoring the sources of the fiscal crisis. 

When so many Americans do not make a living wage, the economy cannot recover. Nor can our budgets be balanced because so many more of us are being forced to rely on a fiscal floor that only our federal government is now able to provide, running up our federal debt and demanding increasing government spending that no fiscal crisis deal will address.

In his book, “The Fine Print,” David Cay Johnston explains,

“No other modern country gives corporations the unfettered power found in America to gouge customers, short-change workers and erect barriers to fair play.”

That is the very real fiscal cliff that American consumers and workers are standing on the precipice of.”

We certainly see this happening at the Tennessee General Assembly as lawmakers do their best to push consumers and hard-working Tennesseans into a permanent underclass by systematically dismantling workplace rights, removing collective bargaining, limiting access to the courts, and erecting barriers in front of the ballot box.

Read Also:




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