AFL-CIO's Trumka: 'Lawmakers should have listened better'
January 1st, 2013
02:20 PM ET
1 year ago

AFL-CIO's Trumka: 'Lawmakers should have listened better'

(CNN) – The day after the U.S. Senate passed a bill averting the fiscal cliff, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka issued a statement chastising lawmakers for some of the tax provisions included in the measure.

"Lawmakers should have listened even better," Trumka wrote. "The deal extends the Bush tax cuts for families earning between $250,000 and $450,000 a year and makes permanent Bush estate tax cuts exempting estates valued up to $5 million from any tax. These concessions amount to over $200 billion in additional tax cuts for the 2%."

The full statement from Trumka is after the jump.

"The agreement passed by the Senate last night is a breakthrough in beginning to restore tax fairness and achieves some key goals of working families. It does not cut Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefits. It raises over $700 billion over 10 years, including interest savings, by ending the Bush income tax cuts for families making over $450,000 a year. And in recognition of the continuing jobs crisis, it extends unemployment benefits for a year. A strong message from voters and a relentless echo from grassroots activists over the last six weeks helped get us this far.

But lawmakers should have listened even better. The deal extends the Bush tax cuts for families earning between $250,000 and $450,000 a year and makes permanent Bush estate tax cuts exempting estates valued up to $5 million from any tax. These concessions amount to over $200 billion in additional tax cuts for the 2%.

And because of Republican hostage taking, the deal simply postpones the $1.2 trillion sequester for only two months and does not address the debt ceiling, setting the stage for more fiscal blackmail at the expense of the middle class.

Instead of moving to address our nation's real jobs and public investment crisis, our leaders will be debating a prolonged artificial fiscal crisis. In the weeks to come, as the confrontation over the economic direction of our country continues, the working men and women of the AFL-CIO will continue to fight to keep poor and middle class families from giving more so rich people can continue paying less. That means a fairer, more progressive tax system, an end to Bush tax rates for the 2% and protection of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid from benefit cuts."


Filed under: AFL-CIO • Fiscal Cliff • Richard Trumka
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Pete

    Republicans have always been against organized labor something some posters who cry about it wish they had...Reagan was first trying to bring down unions with his massive terminations of the air traffic controllers and look what you have in their place now,nothing compared to the well trained,educated controllers unions gave airports years ago and if you check you know I'm right!!Unions built this countries expanding infastructure more than anyone and you can't go anywhere that doesn't exhibit union workers talents..I'm a proud union welder,pipefitter and craftsman something a lot of you only dreamed about but never achived...And Rick McDaniel we union men aren't thugs or criminals as you rant on other sites,you're just a jealous wanne be that couldn't hold our tools that's all!!

    January 1, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  2. Elaina Foley

    This entire mess is unbelieveable and unnecessary. The people need to hold recall elections in every state where congress officials have not supported the people and our nation. We we to put an end to thos now. Let's get started with those recall elections now before they completely destroy our country on "principle". Their principle needs to be left at home.

    January 1, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  3. Elaina Foley

    This entire mess is unbelievable and unnecessary. The people need to hold recall elections in every state where congress officials have not supported the people and our nation. We need to put an end to this now. Let's get started with those recall elections now before they completely destroy our country on "principle". Their principle needs to be left at home

    January 1, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  4. mcwsunshine

    Elaina, I think this country is already being run with a lack of principals. That is exactly why we are in the mess that we are in.

    January 1, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  5. Independent Thinker

    The Republicans need to understand they lost the election. They stalled as much as they possibly could, in the hopes that Romney would win the Whitehouse. Well they did not win, in fact they lost seats in the House and Senate. I believe come 2014, they will get totally shellacked. They are still trying to make President Obama a one term president, I have news for them, he got re-elected. Not only that he won all but one of the battle ground states, but also the popular vote. So the Republicans, need to get over it and work for the good of this country.

    January 1, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  6. Gregory Newbold

    The Democrats are missing a great opportunity here. They could have solidified their standing as the party of the working man/woman by sticking with the $250K threshold which is well above "working class" income levels but is what the President ran on.

    Furthermore, they could have raised revenue approaching that called for in Simpson Bowles. Many people in the 250 to 500K range had become resigned to their taxes go up and still supported Obama. There was no need to do this on many levels.

    January 1, 2013 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  7. mb

    It's being ran by principle, its called the princepel the Koch brothers and Grover want it ran on.

    January 1, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  8. margie stephens

    @pete–very well put–i couldnt have said it better myself though i have tried–maybe the unions will have to do battle again with big business to remind people of their rights–many just were not alive when that all went down and many more just dont pay attention–i am proud of all my union brothers and sisters

    January 1, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  9. Cry me a River...

    @ Pete
    ...And Rick McDaniel we union men aren't thugs or criminals as you rant on other sites,you're just a jealous wanne be that couldn't hold our tools that's all!!

    Well said, Pete. Trade union workers are among the most talented, hardest working men (and women!) I know.

    Those who can, do. Those who can't sometimes just hate those who can.

    January 1, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  10. Ray E. (Georgia)

    This is the result of 75 years of Big Government Policies and Liberal's and Democrats running the Country. Sorry but you voted for it, you bought it. Union's sold their Soul out and most business moved off shore. Kinda hard to Unionise in China. Michigan just became a Right-To-Work State because of jobs leaving. And after this vote is completed your job may also go to China.
    Sorry. I don't make the News, I just Report the News.

    January 1, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |