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Rally urges protection of social safety nets

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Rallies are being held across the country today to urge federal lawmakers to end tax cuts for the richest two percent of Americans.  One of those rallies was held in downtown Buffalo. 

The Western New York Area Labor Federation and citizens gathered outside the local office of Senator Charles Schumer at the Federal Building to ask lawmakers not to make cuts in Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid as it deals with the 'fiscal cliff.'

The nationwide event was dubbed the National Campaign Against Cuts to the American People.

"For 30 years we've been victimized by trickle-down economics," said Richard Lipsitz, president of the Western New York Area Labor Federation. "Trickle-down economics don't work. They should end and we should start using the money from the wealthiest Americans to rebuild this country and to save programs that people have put [money] into their entire lifetimes."

Credit WBFO News photos by Eileen Buckley
Tax Fairness rally in downtown Buffalo

UB graduate student Cayden Mak, with the Coalition for Economic Justice, says as a member of the younger generation, he must join the fight.

"The things that are being decided now are the things that we're going to have to live with for the next 40, 50, 60, 70 years. It's time for a system that really works for real people and is going to work for real people in the future," Mak said.

Locally, workers say any cuts to benefits for Medicare and Medicaid would directly impact workers at area nursing homes.