AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka spoke this week to the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. In the major address, he discussed the economic crisis and the decline of the nation’s middle class, saying the crisis “cries out for political courage.”
Trumka also discussed the health insurance reform debate, urging Congress to reject plans to tax working peoples' benefits as a way to pay for much-needed reform.
Pointing to the conversations he has had with workers on his recent jobs-focused swing through California, Trumka told the nation’s leading journalists:
"Everywhere I went, people asked me, why do so many of the people we elect seem to care only about Wall Street? Why is helping banks a matter of urgency, but unemployment is something we just have to live with? Why don’t we make anything in America anymore? And why is it so hard to pass a health care bill that guarantees Americans healthy lives instead of guaranteeing insurance companies healthy profits?"
He said it is time to remake and build a new economy and reverse the fundamental changes in the nation’s economic structure and rules that for the past decade-plus “have celebrated private greed over public service.” Click here for the full text of his speech.