The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
April 13, 2011
Henry Statement on the President's Fiscal Policy Speech
$1 Trillion in Tax Breaks for Millionaires and Billionaires Is the Wrong Vision for America
WASHINGTON, D.C. – After President Obama delivered a speech on deficit reduction this afternoon, Mary Kay Henry, President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), issued the following statement:
“A budget is a statement of our national values and priorities. That means any federal budget must protect working families from radical cuts to vital programs and help put Americans back to work.
“The President laid out a commonsense approach to restoring fairness to our tax system. The Bush-era tax giveaways to millionaires must come to an end. We simply cannot afford them – something the Republican budget completely ignores. All taxpayers must pay their fair share, but under the Bush tax giveaways the top 2 percent of Americans are not. Tax giveaways and deficit reduction are mutually exclusive.
“Corporate America must pay its fair share. Big corporations – some of which pay no federal taxes – earned record profits in 2010. They are doing better than ever, but are not asked to share their windfall to address the budget deficit. Without requiring corporations to pay their fair share, we cannot truly restore fairness to our tax system.
“We are encouraged by the President’s thoughtful approach to preserving and protecting Medicaid and Medicare from the radical cuts proposed in the Republican budget. The details are important when it comes to preserving and protecting essential programs that millions of seniors, people with disabilities, women and children rely on. We look forward to seeing more detail about the President’s plan to preserve the essential values of Medicare and Medicaid without overburdening the states.
“We agree with the President that sacrifices must be made if we are to tackle our financial challenges. These sacrifices must be shared by all and not directed at those among us who can least afford it. In this heated budget debate, working families need elected leaders to stand up for a better vision for our country.”