AFL-CIO chief rips Obama’s ‘indefensible’ budget move

Included in Obama’s budget proposal is call for “chained CPI.” The policy would readjust how cost-of-living increases are calculated for Social Security benefits, ultimately reducing them. In addition, the budget plan also cuts into Medicare benefits.

The AFL-CIO has long opposed the use of the chained CPI formula, and had warned Obama in the past to steer clear of it.

Other liberal allies of the president are up in arms about the proposed change to entitlements. A petition with more 2 million signatures opposing chained CPI was delivered to the White House on Tuesday.

Trumka also criticized the Obama administration for offering a “revenue neutral” tax reform plan, which he said could lead to some corporations paying less in taxes, while proposing to cut pay and retirement for federal workers.

The labor leader said Obama’s plan “does include several proposals worthy of praise,” such as providing universal access to pre-kindergarten programs and closing “tax lo opholes that allow corporations to get away with shifting profits overseas to avoid U.S. taxes.”

But overall, labor is not happy with the budget plan from a president they have considered an ally. Unions helped turn out voters in key battleground states for Obama during the 2012 campaign.

“Last November, working Americans voted for jobs and growth, not for budget austerity and benefit cuts.  We urge the President to drop these cuts and build support for investing in jobs,” Trumka said.