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U.S. President George W. Bush (L) delivers comments on a meeting with the House Republican leadership as Minority leader John Boehner (R-OH) looks on at the White House in Washington May 7, 2008.    REUTERS/Jim Young     (UNITED STATES)
No more of this.
Unions are diving into the fiscal cliff artifice fight with an ad campaign aimed at House Republicans who are open to increasing revenue by letting the Bush tax cuts for the very wealthy expire, and at Senate Democrats who might go wishy-washy about doing so despite the widespread popularity of the idea among voters. The NEA, SEIU and AFSCME are mounting what's described as a six-figure ad buy in Colorado, Missouri, Virginia and in "several dozen" Republican House districts.
"We are going to encourage people to stand up for the middle class," [NEA President Dennis] Van Roekel said. "We want to make sure that we don’t lose sight of the election." [...]

"We are struck by how clearly the American people see that the answer to long term deficit reduction is jobs, not cuts," the labor official said. "It can only be done by creating jobs, making the rich and corporations pay their fair share and protecting the middle class from a tax hike and cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and education."

Throughout the 2012 election cycle, the AFL-CIO said that its new approach to campaigning would be to keep its campaign structure in place after elections, ready to fight for important policy issues. Of the three unions running this ad campaign, only one, AFSCME, is part of the AFL-CIO, but it seems clear that SEIU and NEA, too, are ready to approach this policy fight as a continuation of the kind of campaign they ran for the elections.

House Republicans are faced with a choice: let the Bush tax cuts for income over $250,000, the top 2 percent of the country, expire and keep tax rates the same for everyone else, or hold 98 percent of the people hostage to low rates for the top 2 percent. And unions are putting some money into making sure that voters are clear on what that choice is and who's making it.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 06:59 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Daily Kos.

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