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Showing blog posts by Damon Silvers

Damon Silvers

Damon A. Silvers is the Director of Policy and Special Counsel for the AFL-CIO.  He joined the AFL-CIO as Associate General Counsel in 1997. 

Mr. Silvers serves on a pro bono basis as a Special Assistant Attorney General for the state of New York.  Mr. Silvers is also a member of the Investor Advisory Committee of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Treasury Department’s Financial Research Advisory Committee, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board’s Standing Advisory Group and its Investor Advisory Group.

Mr. Silvers served as the Deputy Chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel for TARP from 2008 to 2011.  Between 2006 and 2008, Mr. Silvers served as the Chair of the Competition Subcommittee of the United States Treasury Department Advisory Committee on the Auditing Profession and as a member of the United States Treasury Department Investor’s Practice Committee of the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets. 

Prior to working for the AFL-CIO, Mr. Silvers worked for the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers, the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers, and as a law clerk at the Delaware Court of Chancery for Chancellor William T. Allen and Vice-Chancellor Bernard Balick.

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Sen. Warren Gives Working People a Fighting Chance

Update: If you missed the event watch a replay here. 

This Friday at 5 p.m., Sen. Elizabeth Warren is coming to the AFL-CIO to join AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka for a discussion of her book, A Fighting Chance. I’ve been fortunate to have been present for some compelling book events at the AFL-CIO’s headquarters here in Washington, D.C.—Philip Levine, the poet laureate of the United States, reading from his poems about work, and Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, talking about inequality and the damage it does to nations, to name just two. 

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Help the CFPB Help You

Image via CFPB

Every day you read in the news about some new big bank outrage. Foreclosing on families without the right paperwork. Charging hidden fees, conspiring to rig markets, defrauding investors. Refusing to lend to small business. A lot of people I’m sure ask every day over breakfast—this seems outrageous—shouldn’t someone do something about it?

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How We Got Economic Inequality and Why the President Needs to Talk About It

Photo courtesy of All-Nite Images/Flickr

On Tuesday night, President Barack Obama is going to give his fifth State of the Union address. The president is likely to call for policies that will help working people, like an increase in the minimum wage and the extension of unemployment benefits to the long-term unemployed workers.    

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After the Insanity—Can the Coalition of the Sane Stay Unified or Will Greed Divide Us?

After the Insanity—Can the Coalition of the Sane Stay Unified or Will Greed Divide Us?

So we seem to be returning to sanity in Washington—the House Republicans agreed to allow our government—the people who inspect our food and forecast the weather, guard our national treasures and calculate our economic statistics—to do its job. And the Republicans have decided that, after all, it is important we honor our commitments—to those who lend us money, to those who served our country and to those who merely worked for a lifetime and paid into Social Security, expecting the promise their country made to them would be kept.

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Wall Street Visits Washington, the Grand Bargain Returns and Other Tales from the Kidnap House

Photo via Wikimedia

The heads of the country’s largest banks and stock brokers came to Washington, D.C., yesterday to meet with President Barack Obama. Washington is the center of our national hostage drama—to use an old phrase, D.C. is the kidnap house. But we have seen this part of the hostage-taking drama before. First, the extremist House Republicans, who are deeply dependent on Wall Street money, threaten to force the United States into defaulting on its debts to achieve political objectives that Wall Street supports, like cutting Social Security. Then Wall Street pretends to be horrified that the United States might default on its debts, Treasury bonds that underpin much of the world financial system. 

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The Latest Government Crisis: President Obama's 'Make My Day' Moment

President Obama, White House/Flickr.

The media are covering Washington’s latest fiscal crisis basically as a spectacle—the way local news now covers traffic accidents, crime scenes and big storms.   But there is a reality underneath the spectacle—the decisions that are made and not made in Washington over the next few weeks will affect what happens in the lives of all of us.  Here are some basic facts that can help make sense of all the craziness.

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Unbelievable. Excel Sheet Error (Among Other Omissions) Is a Driving Force Behind Austerity Economics

Reinhart & Rogoff Excel Sheet

In real sciences, when a researcher claims to have made a major discovery, the researcher has to make the data he or she used public and other scientists immediately test it to see if it can be replicated. The results aren't accepted as valid, let alone acted on or relied on, in fields where people could get hurt—like medicine or engineering—until they are tested. And if you withhold the data from your colleagues, you are not a scientist, you are a quack. And then there is economics.

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Bad Policy: President Obama's Budget Cuts Social Security and Medicare

Bad Policy: President Obama's Budget Cuts Social Security and Medicare

Yesterday the AFL-CIO learned President Obama's budget will cut Social Security and Medicare benefits for working families. The so-called "chained" CPI will cut Social Security benefits and middle-income seniors (people who made $47,000 a year and more) will be asked to pay higher Medicare premiums.

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Boehner’s Plan for Fiscal Showdown—Cut Social Security COLA to Pay for More Tax Cuts for the Rich

Boehner’s Plan for Fiscal Showdown—Cut Social Security COLA to Pay for More Tax Cuts for the Rich

On Sunday night, House Speaker John Boehner made clear he would like to make a simple trade with President Obama. He asked the president to extend tax cuts on income between $250,000 and $1 million a year—a tax bonanza of nearly $400 billion over 10 years, about half of which would go to millionaires.  

Call the White House at 202-456-1111; tell President Obama you oppose the "chained" CPI.

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Mitt Romney Pays a Lower Total Tax Rate Than the Average American

What's Mitt's Secret? Photo courtesy of United Steelworkers.

Damon Silvers is the policy director and special counsel of the AFL-CIO. 

Mitt Romney’s 2011 tax return is an education in injustice, just like his 2010 return was.  The peculiar letter he released from his tax accountant Pricewaterhouse Coopers concerning his taxes before 2010, simply adds to the mystery—why won’t he follow his father’s and President Obama’s example and release ten years of tax returns?

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