Unions on Romney’s VP choice: Wrong for America

Unions are condemning Mitt Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan as his running mate, calling it “wrong for America.”

“Whether it’s outsourcing American jobs or picking his running mate, Mitt Romney’s proven just how bad his decision making is for working people,” declared AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “Aligning himself with the poster-child for ending Medicare and Social Security puts to rest any suggestion that Romney has a clue what the middle class needs. We’re witnessing the radical Tea Party extremes drive its final nail in what was once the Republican Party.”

“Romney’s announcement affirms he is a captive of the tea baggers’ extremist mentality who have hi-jacked the Republican Party and are firmly in control of the agenda,” said United Steelworkers President Leo Gerard. “Social Security, Medicare, veterans, education, and infrastructure – everything is to be offered up on an altar of sacrifice to fund more tax breaks for the rich.

“Over the next few days,” added Gerard, “We will expose the Romney-Ryan agenda. We stand with President Obama and Vice President Biden at another major moment in the campaign.”

“The distinctions between Obama-Biden and Romney-Ryan couldn’t be any clearer,” said the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees in a statement. “President Obama and Vice President Biden are fighting for everyone to have a fair shot at the American Dream. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are plotting a nightmare for middle-class families.”

Calling the Romney-Ryan ticket the “most out-of-touch national ticket in decades,” the American Federation of Teachers said, in a statement, that “Rep. Ryan’s record speaks for itself. He would reduce, not expand, real opportunities for all students to have access to high quality public education. He would repeal the health care reform law that is helping millions of Americans gain access to the medical care they need. And he is the architect of the radical Republican budget that would end Medicare as we know it.”

The Amalgamated Transit Union said of Ryan, “His policies are those of a class warrior who would drive most Americans into poverty.”

“Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are cut from the same cloth,” said the Michigan State AFL-CIO. “As CEO of Bain Capital, Romney made his fortune by hollowing out the dreams of ordinary American workers. The Romney-Ryan budget would wreak the same kind of economic damage on households nationwide.”

The Center for American Progress has issued a list of top 10 reasons why the Romney-endorsed Ryan budget, adopted by the full Republican House, is a disaster for working people.

These include: Tax cuts for the rich larger than the windfall they got from President Bush; ending Medicare as we know it; throwing 47 million off of healthcare over the next 10 years; drastic increases in unemployment; cuts of $871 billion in education, job training, scientific research and transportation infrastructure over the next 10 years; handouts of $40 billion in new tax breaks to oil companies over the next 10 years; slashing of Social Security benefits for most recipients – but not for the wealthiest ones.

The Ryan plan runs almost exactly opposite to the opinions of the majority, according to recent polls.

Large majorities think the rich should pay higher taxes, with 70 percent saying Medicare should continue operating as it currently does.

Photo: Unions regard the Romney-Ryan ticket as the most out-of-touch in decades. Flickr


John Wojcik
John Wojcik

John Wojcik is Editor-in-Chief of People's World. He joined the staff as Labor Editor in May 2007 after working as a union meat cutter in northern New Jersey. There, he served as a shop steward, as a member of a UFCW contract negotiating committee, and as an activist in the union's campaign to win public support for Wal-Mart workers. In the 1970s and '80s, he was a political action reporter for the Daily World, this newspaper's predecessor, and was active in electoral politics in Brooklyn, New York. John Wojcik es editor en jefe de People's World.