St. Louis rally opposes cuts (with video)

ST. LOUIS – Over 200 community activists, union members and students rallied outside of right-wing Republican Senator Roy Blunt’s office here July 7 demanding “no cuts” to Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security.

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While President Obama and many Democrats state they are seeking a “balanced approach” to the national budget deficit  –  one that increases revenue, and maintains vital social safety-net programs  –  the Republicans want to continue Bush-era tax breaks for the rich and enourmously profitable corporations, initiate huge cuts to Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security, and increase lay-offs of public workers.

In a recent news conference, Senator Blunt made clear his opinion when it comes to increasing taxes on the wealthy: He said, “If the president wanted increased taxes, he should have done it when he had huge majorities. Not only would I not be for it, but it’s a waste of time conversation.”

Additionally, Blunt added, we need a “significant structural change” to government spending.

As the nation nears its debt ceiling, right-wing republicans like Senator Blunt are holding social programs – Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security – hostage to continued tax-breaks for millionaires and billionaires.

Rabbi Susan Talve, from Central Reform Congregation and Missouri Health Care for All, told union members and community activists at the rally, “We want to make sure our legislatures know we do not support cuts that will cause more suffering to the most venerable, because we’ve already had those cuts! It’s enough cuts! No more cuts! There are no more cuts to be made!”

Rev. Emery Washington urged the wealthy to not “turn a deaf ear” on those who are “dependent on Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security.”

The rally was organized by the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), Missouri Health Care for All, Jobs with Justice, Missouri Pro-Vote and GRO-Grassroots Organizing.

Photo: Tony Pecinovsky/PW



Tony Pecinovsky
Tony Pecinovsky

Tony Pecinovsky is the president of the St. Louis Workers' Education Society (WES), a 501c3 non-profit organization chartered by the St. Louis Central Labor Council as a Workers Center. His articles have been published in the St. Louis Labor Tribune, Alternet, Shelterforce, Political Affairs, and Z-Magazine, among other publications. He is the author of "Let Them Tremble: Biographical Interventions Marking 100 Years of the Communist Party, USA," and is available to speak at your community center, union hall or campus.