The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Eddie Vale (202) 637-5018

Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on the Domenici-Rivlin Deficit Plan


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.

The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) works tirelessly to improve the lives of working people. We are the democratic, voluntary federation of 56 national and international labor unions that represent 12.5 million working men and women.