AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka is standing with Speaker Nancy Peolosi and other progressives urging Democrats not to compromise and extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest earners in the upcoming lame duck session.
“It is absolutely insane that in these tough economic times some people want to continue George W. Bush’s tax giveaways to millionaires,” Trumka said in a statement. “Speaker Pelosi is exactly right that there should not be a so-called compromise on this issue.”
Trumka’s declaration sets up the battle lines on the tax cut fight. On the side of extending all the cuts for everyone no matter what are House Republican leaders like Eric Cantor and the party’s allies in the tea party and business communities. On the side of eliminating the cuts on the wealthiest Americans no matter what are Pelosi and the progressive movement’s traditional allies in labor and the netroots activist community.
In the middle, it seems, is President Obama, who is continuing to suggest compromise is possible even as both sides dig in.
So far, Obama has tried to stay out of the fray somewhat, stating that he still stands by his campaign pledge to roll back the tax cuts on the wealthiest while also offering the chance for Republicans to maybe alter his thinking.
For his part, Trumka’s mind is made up.
“The election is over and now it’s time for politicians to show courage and stand and fight on these issues for working families,” the union president said. “Let the millionaires fend for themselves for a change.”