Time for Truth on Jobs, Deficits and Taxes
March 02, 2011
AFL-CIO Executive Council statement
The people most eager to proclaim themselves as deficit hawks are hypocrites, and the current congressional debate over deficit reduction is essentially fraudulent and runs the risk of doing real damage to our economy.
It is often said that “everything must be on the table” and “everyone has to sacrifice” if we are to bring down the deficit. But not everything is on the table and not everyone is being asked to sacrifice. In fact, there is little in the current debate that should bring a frown to the faces of millionaires such as Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs, Rupert Murdoch of Fox Broadcasting or Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan Chase.
As recently as three months ago, Republicans in Congress were demanding—and getting—a two-year extension of tax cuts for the richest 2 percent of Americans, which will increase the federal budget deficit by $100 billion. Now congressional Republicans want to make up for this budget shortfall with as much as $100 billion in spending cuts that will cost working people hundreds of thousands of good jobs and gut the government functions they depend on, such as workplace safety and health. Meanwhile, many of the same people demanding tax cuts for rich people are also loudly demanding cuts in Social Security and Medicare benefits.