UAW Blasts Bush's Budget Proposal

UAW President Stephen P. Yokich urged Congress to reject President Bush's budget proposal, saying the Bush plan "hands the richest one percent of Americans an obscene windfall while ignoring the needs of America's children, the elderly, and middle- and lower-income working men and women."

"At a time when more than 43 million Americans -- including nearly 11 million children --are without health care coverage, one-fifth of our children are living in poverty, and millions of senior citizens are struggling with soaring prescription drug costs, Mr. Bush's number one priority is tax relief for millionaires," Yokich commented, referring to a Citizens for Tax Justice analysis of Bush's tax cut plan that shows the wealthiest one percent of taxpayers would get an average tax reduction of more than $54,000 a year -- 45 percent of the total tax cut.

"The budget surplus gives the President an historic opportunity to lift millions of America's children out of poverty, expand access to quality health care, and strengthen Social Security and Medicare," Yokich continued. "Yet Mr. Bush intends to squander this opportunity by blowing the surplus on a tax-cut scheme based on 'fuzzy math' and priorities that are out-of-sync with the concerns of the majority of Americans.

Noting that many nonpartisan budget experts project the actual cost of Bush's tax cut plan would be $2.6 trillion, a trillion dollars more than advertised, Yokich said: "Mr. Bush's priorities don't add up - and neither do his numbers."

"This president has yet to offer a credible case for how he can slash taxes, increase spending for education and defense, establish a trillion-dollar 'contingency fund,' and pay down the national debt all at the same time," Yokich noted. "Mr Bush won't admit it, but his tax-cut and budget plans threaten to siphon money away from the Social Security and Medicare trust funds, robbing millions of Americans of the secure, dignified retirements they have worked long and hard to earn.

Urging working families to make their voices heard in the budget debate by writing, calling, or personally meeting with their Representatives and Senators, Yokich said: "We need to remind members of Congress that the American people didn't give George W. Bush a mandate to blow the surplus on a tax cut for those already at the very top of the economic ladder. To the contrary, last November a majority of voters rejected Bush and his agenda, voting instead for needed investments in education, health care, and retirement security.