November 16, 2010
Statement by Randi Weingarten,
President, American Federation of Teachers,
On Proposals by the Deficit Commission Chairmen
WASHINGTON—While we’re grateful the commission’s chairmen understood the need to hold education investment sacrosanct, count on a vigorous fight from us over proposed cuts to Social Security and Medicare that would hurt an already-ailing middle class. Shared sacrifice means holding millionaires responsible for their fair share of taxes and ending truly wasteful spending, not sawing off essential lifelines for the middle class, who desperately are trying to keep their heads above water in these precarious economic times. We can help solve the financial future of Social Security and Medicare by investing in putting our people back to work, so they can pay into these programs. Nothing is more important to the future solvency of the country.
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The AFT represents 1.5 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.