U.S. Vice President Joe Biden says that the nation’s largest union of government workers that Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, has a “fundamentally different value set” and would gut spending for nurses, firefighters and other public-sector jobs.
Speaking before the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees biannual convention in Los Angeles, Biden said Romney would be emboldened by a failed union-led drive to recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and push for cuts in funding for the public sector to pay for tax reductions. The union is facing a “full-blown assault,” he said.
Police officers, teachers, caregivers and other rank-and-file public servants join Illinois AFL-CIO members to protest the state’s pension situation and Gov. Pat Quinn’s opposition to arbitrators ruling on AFSCME pay raises and closing facilities. Photographer: Seth Perlman/AP
Biden said a federal budget plan proposed by Representative Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican and chairman of the House Budget Committee would lead to “draconian” cuts that would reduce services for the middle class while putting union members out of work. Romney has endorsed the Ryan plan.
“Romney and his friends think if you just lavish more tax cuts on them and eviscerate the poor and the middle class, somehow that’s going to grow the economy,” Biden told the 5,000 union representatives.
The government workforce has been one of the few bright spots for organized labor in recent years. Public-sector workers became the majority of union members in the U.S. for the first time in 2009. Their jobs and benefits would be threatened by a Romney win, Biden said.
“Romney, Ryan and the new Republicans in Congress have shown us their budget,” Biden said. “It’s clear they don’t value you very much.”
Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said Biden is pushing failed policies that have not created jobs or improved the economy. Fewer regulations would encourage job growth, she said,Bloomberg said