For Immediate Release
Eddie Vale (202) 637-5018
Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka On The Deficit Commission Report
WASHINGTON - With this report the Deficit Commission once again tells working
Americans to 'Drop Dead.' No proposal on fiscal issues is serious that
leaves the Bush tax cuts for the rich in place while raising taxes on
the middle class and slashing Social Security and Medicare. All
commission members should vote no on this misguided plan. All members
of Congress should also oppose these job-killing policies if they are
raised in future legislation or budgets.
Our nation IS facing an immediate jobs crisis. Last night 800,000
Americans lost their unemployment insurance, and that number will grow
to two million by Christmas. One hundred workers from across the
country have come to Washington today to lobby Congress to extend
unemployment insurance. It is unconscionable that this commission is
proposing to slash these very workers' Social Security and Medicare.
This whole discussion reeks of hypocrisy. The faux deficit hawks on
the commission – and Senators who claim unemployment insurance must be
paid for -- have no problem clamoring for more unpaid Bush tax cuts for
We need to focus now on the jobs deficit. Fifteen million people are
out of work, and another eleven million have given up looking or are
working part-time involuntarily. We need to invest in jobs by
rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure and green technologies and end
tax breaks that send American jobs overseas.
To address long-term deficit issues the AFL-CIO supports the core
principles underlying the "Investing in America's Economy Budget
Blueprint." We need to put jobs and economic growth first; we must
invest in education and infrastructure to be competitive in the 21st
century; Wall Street and the wealthy must bear their share of the
burden; and we need to deal with the growth of health care costs.
The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) is a voluntary federation of 56 national and international labor unions. The AFL-CIO union movement represents 10.5 million members, including 2 million members in Working America, its new community affiliate. We are teachers and truck drivers, musicians and miners, firefighters and farm workers, bakers and bottlers, engineers and editors, pilots and public employees, doctors and nurses, painters and laborers-and more.