For Immediate Release
Eddie Vale, Josh Goldstein (202) 637-5018
Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka On Tax Cut Deal
WASHINGTON - 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
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.