By Lee Saunders
There is only one choice for working people in this year’s presidential election.
The Trump economy may be going gangbusters for those with big stock portfolios. But if you’re a working-class family weighed down by student loans, staring at a rising cost of living and struggling to make the rent or monthly mortgage payment, Donald Trump has nothing for you.
And if you’re a public service worker, Donald Trump has refused to support funding for the state and local budgets that provide your pay and benefits, budgets that have been decimated by this pandemic. Instead of honoring public service workers who have answered the call during this year of grave crisis, Donald Trump is thanking them with furlough days and layoffs.
The case against Donald Trump is strong. But I am not voting against Donald Trump this fall; I am proudly casting my ballot for Joe Biden for president and Kamala Harris for vice president.
I am voting for the Biden-Harris ticket because they are proven fighters for working people, who will stick their necks out for us every single day that they are in office. They will keep public service workers like nurses, sanitation workers, corrections officers and others on the job to beat back the pandemic and safely reopen our economy.
The Biden-Harris administration will make sure the wealthy pay their fair share and working families get a fair shake. They will repeal the Trump tax cuts — 83% of the benefits of which will go to the top 1% of income earners by 2027 — and reinvest in education, health care and infrastructure.
At a moment when millions of Americans have contracted a deadly virus, Donald Trump wants to use the Supreme Court — and the illegitimate appointment of a new justice — to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and eliminate protections for pre-existing conditions. Joe Biden will build on the ACA to give us a health care system that further lowers costs, expands access and gives working families peace of mind.
Joe Biden provides the experienced leadership and steady hand we need. As vice president, he was in charge of the Recovery Act, which saved the American economy from plummeting into a depression. He also has been on the front lines of a public health challenge, having led the effective response to the Ebola epidemic. Meantime, in the face of one of the biggest challenges a president can face, Trump has demonstrated staggering incompetence. He dismissed experts’ warnings, comparing COVID-19 to the flu and insisting that it would just disappear. His mismanagement has cost lives and led to untold economic wreckage.
A Biden presidency will put progress before partisanship. He will extend a hand of cooperation to anyone, regardless of political affiliation, who wants to improve the lives of working people. He will look to bring people together and unite the nation around shared values, while Trump intentionally fans the flames of division.
Trump’s National Labor Relations Board has been ruthless about busting unions, but the Biden-Harris administration will have a seat at the table for us when the important decisions are made. If you want someone in the Oval Office who understands the power of the union difference, who will fight for collective bargaining rights for everyone who works in public service, then the only choice is Joe Biden for president.
Retirement with dignity will be a cornerstone of a Biden presidency. By contrast, the only proposed second-term policy Trump has put forward is an elimination of taxes that fund Social Security. According to the Social Security actuary, that would mean the program would be unable to pay any retirement benefits as soon as 2023.
Joe Biden will appoint Supreme Court justices who will safeguard our Constitutional freedoms, who will protect workers’ rights and women’s rights, who will advance the cause of racial justice, who will be true to the legacy of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are exactly the leaders we need right now, during one of the most challenging moments in our nation’s history. They will not just put an end to the chaos and corruption of the last four years, they will address longstanding and entrenched problems to create a fairer economy for everyone. They have a plan not just to get us back to normal, but to Build Back Better.
It is going to take unprecedented voter engagement and mobilization to put the Biden-Harris ticket over the top. Despite the barriers presented by a virtual campaign, we need to show our grassroots political power like never before. Click here to visit our virtual field offices and get involved today.
Lee Saunders is President of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.