Column: Congress, support working people

Deidra Finley

I’ve spent the last 17 years taking care of Michiganians in their most vulnerable moments, doing my best to make them and their families as comfortable as possible through difficult times. As a certified nursing assistant at Cambridge South Healthcare Center, I go above and beyond every day for my patients to keep them healthy and safe. I’m furious that congressional Republicans are threatening my patients’ health so they can give huge tax breaks to corporations and millionaire CEOs.

The GOP “tax reform” bill that passed the House earlier this month is nothing more than a huge handout to wealthy donors at the expense of everyday folks like me and my co-workers, who just want to make an honest living to help provide for a better future for our families. The wealthiest in Michigan will get almost two-thirds of the tax breaks. These are folks with an income of at least a half million dollars a year, and this bill would give them an average tax cut of $76,560 in 2018. Meanwhile, they’re going to ask seniors to have their Medicare and Medicaid scaled back, make it harder for students to pay back their debt, and make it tougher for every day working people to get ahead. This is a tax plan designed to help wealthy CEOs and insurance executives, not folks like me caring for patients in hospitals and nursing homes across the state while trying to save money so our kids can go to college.

Just a few months ago Republicans in Washington tried to take health care away from those who need it most, and now they want to take away essential programs from many of these same people in order to pay for huge tax breaks for the rich. Their plan increases the federal deficit by $2.4 trillion over 10 years. They won’t pay for this by closing tax loopholes for companies that send jobs overseas or hide profits offshore, but instead by crucial cuts to some of the most important programs that our families and our patients rely on like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Members of Congress and the president should be creating good jobs, investing in education, increasing access to affordable, quality health care and supporting the ability of working people to stick together in unions to make our voices heard. Instead, they are at it again using the same sneaky tricks they used during the health care debate to ram through tax cuts for corporations, millionaires and billionaires with only Republican support and at the expense of people like myself and my co-workers.

Congressional Republicans in Michigan are out of touch with the needs of everyday working people, and we need to hold them accountable in 2018 and elect candidates who are ready to stand up for our families and fight for our communities.

Deidra Finley is a CNA at Cambridge South Healthcare Center in Beverly Hills, Mich., and member of SEIU Healthcare Michigan.


Labor Voices columns are written on a rotating basis by United Auto Workers President Dennis Williams, Teamsters President James Hoffa, Michigan AFL-CIO President Ron Bieber and Michigan Education Association President Paula Herbart.