Press Release

Nurses Join Call to Congress to Reject Faulty Deal To Further Enrich Wealthiest Americans

President Obama’s flawed compromise agreement with Republican leaders to extend Bush-era tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires should be rejected by Congress, said National Nurses United, the nation’s largest professional association and union of nurses, today.
In a statement issued today, NNU sharply criticized Obama’s plan as an “unconscionable and unacceptable concession to Wall Street and the most obstructionist elements in Congress that bodes very ill for social progress in the next two years of his presidency.”
“This deal further enriches those who have partied for the past decade at the expense of the vast majority of working Americans. The original Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest among us ushered in an era of the greatest income gap in income and living conditions in our society in 80 years, and undermined the economic security of our nation.
“To reward those who created the present economic disaster with additional tax breaks, and their advocates in Congress who held the unemployed hostage to win these disgraceful new tax breaks shows an appalling failure of leadership by the White House. Congress should demonstrate its resolve by repudiating this agreement,” said NNU.
NNU also chastised the president for his verbal attacks on critics of the deal, “rather than holding the line against those President Roosevelt called the ‘malefactors of wealth’ who did so much to create our current economic crisis.”
Other problems with the agreement, NNU cited in a letter to Congress members:
“The payroll tax holiday is a significant threat to Social Security.
“Ironically, just days earlier the White House and some in Congress were so alarmed at the future solvency of Social Security they were endorsing a deficit commission proposal to cut Social Security benefits and raise the retirement age. While the commission plan was largely based on false premises, this plan makes the problem real. It could substantially reduce revenues for Social Security for years to come, greatly increasing the pressure for cuts that will severely undermine the retirement security for all Americans.
“The deal does little to address the biggest economic problems facing America.
“While extending jobless benefits is welcome and – unlike new tax breaks for the ultra rich and the estate tax cut – is an actual economic stimulus, the unemployment benefit extension still leaves out the 99’ers, those long-term unemployed who have exhausted their benefits.
“Tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans may help the Republicans accumulate additional donations for the next election cycle, but it adds nothing to the economy. This concession for which the president received so little in return will surely only embolden the most recalcitrant members of Congress to hold out for further major concessions.
“America’s nurses believe the security and health of our nation would be better served by Congress and the administration working to pass a jobs program to create desperately needed employment, a genuine fix to rising healthcare costs that continue unabated, and securing the retirement security for everyone.”