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Eddie Vale (202) 637-5018
Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on the Domenici-Rivlin Deficit Plan
WASHINGTON - November 17 - Both the Domenici-Rivlin plan released today and the Simpson-Bowles plan released last week would threaten the economic recovery and destroy American jobs by calling for job-killing fiscal austerity before our jobs deficit is closed.
Incredibly, both the Domenici-Rivlin plan and the Simpson-Bowles plan would reduce the top marginal income tax rate for the wealthiest Americans and reduce the corporate income tax rate, unnecessarily inflating the deficit. In fact, last week's Simpson-Bowles plan would actually put an arbitrary cap on how much we can reduce the deficit with tax revenues.
Any plan that claims to address our country's deficit problems but does not let President Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy expire on schedule is hypocritical and should not be taken seriously.
Neither of these plans is even minimally credible. At every juncture, they duck any fiscal measures that might impact the super-wealthy, choosing instead to stick working people with the bill for Wall Street's party. And by cutting Social Security and Medicare benefits, both plans threaten the retirement security of millions of Americans. Both plans fail to solve our real long-term budget problem, which is the outrageously wasteful and expensive way health care is delivered in this country.
Both plans do shift more health care costs onto consumers in hopes that they will use less care, but the enormous waste in our health care system is not driven by consumers. The key to reining in health care spending is getting providers to deliver care in more cost-effective ways, not shifting costs to workers and seniors.
With respect to these key issues, Representative Schakowsky has shown a better way forward with the plan she released yesterday. Stabilizing the national debt over the long term does not require us to choke off job-creating public investment, or cut Social Security benefits, or shift more health care costs onto the backs of workers. And if we are serious about cutting the deficit, we need to let Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy expire on schedule, and we should not be cutting corporate tax rates or marginal income tax rates for the wealthiest Americans. The last thing our country needs right now is a plan to redistribute wealth upwards from working people to the wealthy under the pretense of deficit reduction.
Neither the AFL-CIO nor any other labor movement institutions were represented on the Domenici-Rivlin task force.