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Washington is all abuzz with the possibility of a Washington consensus, a Beltway consensus. While we all know that legislative negotiations are critical, we know equally well that regular folks usually get screwed when there is a Washington consensus. Remember NAFTA and the supposed benefits of free trade? That was a Washington consensus. Remember raising Congressional pay umpteen times without raising the minimum wage? Again, a Washington consensus.

Now there is talk of a “Grand Bargain” to cut the deficit and long-term debt by changing the annual cost-of-living raises for Social Security and cutting Medicare and/or Medicaid – and we MUST stop that talk and building Washington consensus as soon as possible.

Please forward this blog and repeat this message as widely as you possibly can.

There is no deal the radical right-wing Republicans will give Obama and the Democrats that is worth a steady decrease year by year of Social Security and cuts to Medicare and/or Medicaid. Please call your Members of Congress at 202-224-3121 and the White House switchboard as soon as you can and say NO to any Grand Bargain that cuts Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid now or in the future.

Here’s why:

- We have the world’s worst inequality. Do we want the rich to get richer at the expense of our elders, sick, and disabled?

- Our real three crises are joblessness, lack of consumer buying power, and the refusal of the wealthy to invest in the real economy. Cutting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid will only make those problems bigger and lead to a longer economic crisis for no good reason.

- The wealthy are finally investing, but not in the real economy. That’s why we see stocks going up on Wall St. with very low job increases.

- The taxes on the rich and corporations are way too low. Our richest corporations pay NO federal taxes. Our wealthiest people pay half the tax rate that you and I pay.

- Long-term or short term cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid will only weaken Democrats politically. Democratic gun lovers will say they screwed us economically, they will screw us on guns. This last point will bring huge laughter and ridicule from the Washington Democrats, political hacks, and consultants, but they HAVE NEVER been in a paper mill or union truck barn or terminal or auto plant at election time. They can be brilliant fools. And President Obama’s economic team are being brilliant fools.

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Stewart Acuff is the former organizing Director of the AFL-CIO. Acuff has also written two books: Playing Bigger Than You Are: A Life in Organizing, and Getting America Back to Work.
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