“You need leadership with a sharp, cutting edge,” said Trumka, who argued that the recent debt ceiling agreement was “a bad deal” for working Americans. He called on Obama to draw a sharper contrast with Republicans and to articulate a more forceful jobs agenda. Entitlements alone should not bear the burden of deficit reduction, he said, citing a Congressional Budget Office finding that the deficit could be halved over a decade if the Bush-era tax cuts expired.
“People have pretty much lost faith in Washington to solve their problems,” Trumka said. “They’re angry.”