AFL-CIO Is Silent as Spending Cuts Imperil One Million Jobs

By Harry Kelber | The American Labor Reform Movement | October 3, 2012

No matter who wins the presidential elections, 160 million Americans will probably see their tax bills jump after Jan.1.That’s when the temporary payroll tax "holiday" expires.

That would mean a loss of income of about $95 billion for U.S. families in 2013 alone.

The original point of the payroll tax extension was to stimulate consumer spending and aid middle-class households. But now, Congress says it needs the money as it struggles with vast deficits and believes the economy can withstand the expiration. The White House has not pushed for an extension.

Many economists oppose cutting the payroll tax benefit, arguing it will cause the present fragile economy into recession. The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) favors increasing state government funds for building infrastructures that can create jobs.

AFL-CIO leaders have remained silent on this issue, as though it was no concern of working families. As yet, there has been no public outcry, even from workers, against the 2013 cut in wages.

Trumka Says Nothing about a Half-Trillion Spending Cuts

Under the Obama-Boehner agreement, a massive number of functioning pro-worker programs will be crippled or eliminated early in 2013. There are strong indications that the $1 trillion automatic spending cuts the two men negotiated will affect Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and dozens of projects that serve the poor, sick and elderly.

Yet, no list of the enormous spending cuts has been released, nor is there any evidence that AFL-CIO President Trumka has requested one. Undoubtedly, there are objectionable spending cuts, but how does Trumka intend to fight them, assuming he does?

Think of what a trillion spending cuts can do to the labor movement? They can disfigure the unions, distort their purpose and lead to their destruction.

Is there enough courage, guts and smart political savvy to fight back and save the labor movement at this critical juncture? We hope and pray there is. If not, the AFL-CIO will deserve to disappear.

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