AFL-CIO Pres. Trumka Statement on Tax Breaks for Millionaires

Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka On Tax Cut Deal

December 07, 2010

Two years ago, working Americans had high hopes that we would ultimately emerge from the deep, punishing financial debacle with a sharp focus on a fundamentally stronger, fairer and more balanced economy.  Today, that vision has dimmed.

The tax cut deal rewards Republican obstructionism by giving the wealthy the tax breaks they demanded.  It throws away precious resources needed for investments in jobs and our economy on upper income tax cuts that will do very little to propel economic growth—setting up excuses for the deficit hypocrites to argue for even more cuts to programs serving working families.  It lards the tax cuts for the top 2 percent with an indefensible cut in the estate tax – giving yet another bonus to the super-rich.  Taken together, this package locks in the growing income inequality that has plagued our country for at least another two years – and quite possibly much longer.

It is unconscionable that the price of support for struggling middle class families and workers who have been unable to find jobs for months and months and months is yet more giveaways for our country’s wealthiest families.  Millions of jobless workers have lived in fear for months while Senate Republicans had the gall to use their hardships as political leverage for the benefit of the rich.

The gains for the middle class and jobless workers in the deal come at too high a price.

The issue we face today is not the lack of power or opportunity.  The question we have to answer is this:  How do we use our power to escape caving in to Wall Street and moneyed interests?  And how do we create the millions of jobs we need now and move toward a future of broadly shared prosperity?