Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka On The Deficit Commission Report

December 01, 2010

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 millionaires.

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.

Contact: Eddie Vale (202) 637-5018