AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka doesn’t share President Obama’s enthusiasm for the so-called balanced approach to deficit reduction set forth in the much ballyhooed bipartisan ‘Gang of Six’ proposal. In fact, he’s dead-set against it.
Despite all the talk of tough choices and shared sacrifice and taking on sacred cows during difficult economic times, Trumka says the Gang of Six proposal appears to balance the budget on the backs of middle-class workers and the poor.
“…We keep seeing bipartisan support for plans like the so-called ‘Gang of Six’ that cut Social Security benefits, kill jobs, give tax incentives for corporations to export good jobs overseas, tax health benefits, and lower tax rates for billionaires and corporations,” Trumka said in a statement Wednesday. “There’s no shared sacrifice here. The only sacred cows being gored are working people, the middle class, seniors and the poor.”
The bipartisan group of senators have yet to unveil the details, although it has been widely reported that the plan includes $500 billion in cuts up front, including changes to how the consumer price index is calculated as a factor in Social Security cost-of-living adjustments, statutory spending caps between now and 2015 and significant tax reform, including a single, lower corporate tax rate of between 23 percent and 29 percent.
Meanwhile, the Senate Finance Committee would be tasked with rewriting the rules for how doctors are reimbursed when they provide services to Medicare payments — a way to find cost savings.
“Though the plan is very specific when it comes to spelling out tax cuts for rich people, there are still a lot of blanks to be filled in,” Trumka said. “Even so, we’ve seen enough to know that there is nothing here for working people. We need to keep asking our leaders: ‘Who got us into this mess?’ It wasn’t working people. The people who got us into this mess are getting off scot-free, and this Gang of Six proposal shows they have accomplices in both parties.”