Elections are about choices. In 2012, the choice is clear for American Workers.
Do we want more tax breaks for the wealthy? Do we want to gut the Medicare and Social Security safety net for millions of Americans? Or do we want an economic recovery in which we participate? This site presents the facts about the presidential candidates and candidates in other key races.

The Choice for the Middle Class

Presidential Candidates on the Issues

(Click an issue to learn more)

Obama pushed for passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which saved or created more than 4 million private sector jobs.

Obama called for a 20 percent tax credit to companies that scale back foreign operations and bring jobs back to the United States.

In 2009, as part of the President’s economic recovery plan, Obama extended federal Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) to customer service professionals and high-tech and public sector workers who lose their jobs due to offshoring, imports, and other trade practices. These workers had been excluded from receiving TAA benefits. As a result, CWA won TAA benefits for the thousands of T-Mobile USA workers who lost their jobs when the company closed seven call centers this June.

Obama rescued the American auto industry, saving more than 1 million jobs. Today the US auto industry is healthy and profitable. Obama wants to expand the country’s high-tech manufacturing capacity and supply clean energy projects with parts and equipment made in the USA.

Obama says, “I believe our economy is stronger when workers are getting paid good wages and good benefits.” He has supported proposals to raise the minimum wage for workers to $9.50 an hour. Good Jobs in Barack Obama (D)'s Words →

Romney, while heading Bain Capital, was a pioneer in supporting the offshoring of jobs to China. Bain specialized in closing US plants, laying off workers, eliminating health care and pensions and sending US jobs overseas.

Romney wants to give companies incentives to send jobs and profits offshore.

Romney opposed the auto industry rescue, stating that we should, “Let Detroit go bankrupt.”

Romney wants to kill investments in clean energy jobs and opposes an important wind energy production tax credit, putting 37,000 jobs at risk, particularly in Midwestern states.

Romney wants to make jobless workers provide for their own unemployment benefits: “If I were president right now, I would go to Congress with a new system for unemployment, which would have specific accounts from which people could withdraw their own funds. And I would not put in place a continuation of the current plan.” Romney says, “Right now, there’s probably not a need to raise the minimum wage.” Good Jobs in Mitt Romney (R)'s Words →

Named worker advocates to the National Labor Relations Board and the National Mediation Board to support the rights of workers to bargain collectively and form unions. Republican Senators vowed to block any appointment to the NLRB to keep the agency from doing its job. Obama made three recess appointments so workers would have some path to workplace justice.

Supports bargaining rights for workers. In his Labor Day 2012 message, Obama said, “I am committed to preserving the collective bargaining rights that helped build the greatest middle class the world has ever known. It is the fundamental right of every American to have a voice on the job, and a chance to negotiate for fair pay, safe working conditions, and a secure retirement. When we uphold these basic principles, our middle class grows and everybody prospers.” Workers' Rights in Barack Obama (D)'s Words →

Called the National Labor Relations Board a tool of the “union bosses” that is packed with “union stooges.”

Attacks collective bargaining rights and joined in the assault on state workers’ rights in Ohio and Wisconsin. Romney blames unions for the country’s economic woes and says, “I’ve taken on union bosses before. I’m happy to take them on again.”

Supports a national “right to work” (for less) law that will restrict workers’ rights to bargain.

Said majority signup legislation would represent a massive imposition on the freedom of workers to choose whether or not to become part of a union. Workers' Rights in Mitt Romney (R)'s Words →

Obama has pledged to safeguard Social Security. “I’ll fight with everything I’ve got to stop those who would gamble your Social Security on Wall Street. Because you shouldn’t be worried that a sudden downturn in the stock market will put all you’ve worked so hard for—all you’ve earned—at risk.”

Obama wants to make Medicare more affordable, promising that he will not allow the budget “to be an excuse for turning Medicare into a voucher program that leaves seniors at the mercy of the insurance industry.” The Affordable Care Act closes the coverage gap in the Medicare prescription drug program known as the doughnut hole.

Obama took Medicare subsidies that were being made to insurance companies and overpayments to some providers and put those dollars back into patient care.

The Affordable Care Act also vastly expands Medicaid, covering about half of the nation’s uninsured. Retirement Security in Barack Obama (D)'s Words →

Romney supports privatizing Social Security, exposing seniors’ savings security to the whims of the stock market. “Individual retirement accounts offer an option that would allow today's wage earners to direct a portion of their Social Security tax to a private account rather than go entirely to pay the benefits of current retirees, as is the case today. Owners of these individual accounts would invest in a combination of stocks and bonds.”

Romney supports proposals to cut Social Security benefits and raise the retirement age. “I'd also add a year or two to the retirement age under Social Security.”

The Romney-Ryan plan will end Medicare as we know it. It would create a privatized voucher program and raise the eligibility age for benefits. It would force seniors to pay thousands of dollars more, while insurance companies rake in billions in profits.

The Romney-Ryan plan would replace the current Medicaid program with block grants, shrinking this medical safety net for the poorest Americans, including low-income elderly Americans. Currently there are 9 million disabled and elderly Americans receiving Medicaid, 1 million of them in nursing homes.

Romney’s plan for the uninsured: “if someone has a heart attack, they don’t sit in their apartment and — and die. We pick them up in an ambulance, and take them to the hospital, and give them care.” Retirement Security in Mitt Romney (R)'s Words →

Supports equal pay for equal work. As his first official measure, he signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law.

Pushed for passage of the Affordable Care Act that ends the discrimination that women faced from health care insurers. Now, many insurance plans are required to provide preventive services like mammograms, and to cover birth control as part of women's preventive care.

The Affordable Care Act also means that insurance companies can’t discriminate against patients due to pre-existing conditions, and provides coverage for children up to age 26 on the parent’s plans.

Supports paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave coverage. More than 145 countries provide some paid sick leave but not the US Women & Families in Barack Obama (D)'s Words →

Romney won’t say if he would have signed Lilly Ledbetter, and he refuses to specify his stance on the Paycheck Fairness Act.

Romney has promised to repeal Obama’s health care law. He would allow employers to deny workers birth control and other health service coverage based on the employer’s personal beliefs.

Romney wants to eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood, which is a key provider of health services to lower income women. Women & Families in Mitt Romney (R)'s Words →