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Guest Young Unionist Column From Cory McCray, President Of The Baltimore-Based Young Trade Unionists: Proposed Government Budgets Weakens The Middle Class

Published Saturday, April 16, 2011 9:00 pm
by Cory McCray/Young Unionists-Baltimore

WNYLaborToday.com Editor’s Note: Cory McCray, who serves as chairman of the Baltimore, Maryland Young Trade Unionists Group, has been reported on and profiled by WNYLaborToday.com several times in recent months.  WNYLaborToday.com has also republished several worthy columns authored by McCray over that same period of time that targets Young Union Members & Workers.  This is the latest offering from Mr. McCray (who can be contacted via e-mail at corymccray@gmail.com) that WNYLaborToday.com wanted to bring to the attention of our viewers/readers:

 

Watching the budget proposals for the Federal, State, and Local Governments over the past 30 days has worked to bring about a high level of frustration for the Middle Class.

While many government officials are talking about shared sacrifice, we have to really look at just who is participating in the sacrifice and why the richest one-percent always take a minimum hit or never participate in this asked for sacrifice.

And why is it that government officials say they are not raising taxes on the Middle Class, but always introduce fees (which seems to be the new word for avoiding taxes)?

On a Federal Level, we watched as Democrats and Republicans debated over cutting funds to Planned Parenthood, Health Care, Medicaid and Social Security, amongst other things that would affect the Middle Class.  

While we must applaud them for negotiating a deal and not causing a Government Shutdown on a Federal Level, we have to wonder how their $38 billion in cuts are going to hurt families in poverty and those above them in the Middle Class.  

With that said, you also have to wonder how many services are going to be cut and what repercussions the Middle Class is going to have to pay?

On the State Level, in Maryland, as our government officials see the 90-day session come to a close, we look at cuts and tier systems implemented to the pension system for State Employees.

Outside of Invest Maryland - which helps small businesses and startup companies - there was a lack of Job Creation Legislation which would provide immediate help to the unemployed and underemployed workers.  

The majority of the session seemed as though Workers were being reactive instead of pro-active fighting such legislation as Right to Work for Less, Project Labor Agreement Prohibition and Prevailing Wage Rate Law Repeal, while legislation that would have held Corporate America accountable - like the Corporate Income Tax Combined Reporting Bill and Millionaires Tax Sunset Repeal Bill - made no traction at all in the State of Maryland.

On the local level, in Baltimore, Workers have to be concerned about the restructuring of the Health Plan for City Employees under the Mayor’s Budget.  

We have to be concerned with the privatization of recreation centers which will destroy Middle-Class Jobs for City Employees.  It will lessen the accountability for Baltimore City, giving them the option of blaming the third party for discretionary actions.  It will also open the door for private contractors to hire employees without paying Unemployment Benefits, Health Care Benefits, Retirement Benefits and Workman’s Compensation Benefits.  They will do this by misclassifying employees and describing them as 1099 Contractors.  

Lastly, the most frustration will come from an undetermined fee for trash removal, which is another burden or payment for the Middle Class.

So - can anyone question why Young Workers are disengaged and frustrated with the political system and our political leaders?

And do our political leaders understand that creativity and innovation is not cutting or weakening the benefits of workers?

The million dollar question is what have Federal, State and Local Budgets done to restore the Middle Class?

Yes, I understand your frustration.

These are just some the reasons why Working America must ban together.

We must organize around these issues in order to apply pressure to our leaders and make them understand they have to make better decisions.

But in the end, we must work together to restore the Middle Class ourselves.

No longer can we let the richest one percent in this country receive numerous tax benefits, while leaving the most vulnerable Americans to starve.

No longer can we let political leaders bring Wal-Mart jobs to our neighborhoods and call it job creation, while real Middle-Class Jobs leave our country.

No longer can we let politicians say they are not raising taxes on the Middle Class, while charging us new fees for services.

The solution to our problems is creating Middle-Class Jobs and holding large corporations accountable.

When Americans are making a Living Wage the American Economy has been successful and the dollar turns ten-fold in our economic system.

When Americans are not making a Living Wage our economy suffers and it creates a larger division between the Class System.

We have to begin to hold large corporations accountable such as General Electric - who pays a negative margin in taxes - while the Middle Class continues to cover tax burdens.

Middle-Class Job Creation and Corporate Accountability are the keys to turning America around - not weakening the wages, benefits and conditions for Workers. 

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