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Trumka: The 'Grand Bargain' Is a Dead End

Most voters agree that big corporations and the wealthy should start paying their fair share in taxes. But, of course, big corporations and the wealthy don’t want to do that. They want to pay less, and they are used to getting their way. So what do you do?

Some people in Washington think the answer is a “grand bargain.” In a “grand bargain,” Republicans agree to stop protecting millionaires from having to pay a single penny more in taxes. In return, Democrats agree to cut Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare benefits.

That doesn’t sound like a bargain to me. It sounds more like working people getting ripped off. Of course, big corporations and the wealthy need to start paying their fair share—but cutting benefits is not the answer.

Let’s not forget how we got here. The richest Americans have been getting richer for decades, while the wages of working people have barely kept up with inflation. Then tax cuts for Wall Street and the wealthy threw the economy even more out of balance. Now economic inequality is the highest it has been since the Great Depression and the tax burden has shifted more and more to working people.

Even worse, some of the tax breaks enjoyed by Wall Street are doing real harm to our economy. Take the tax subsidy for sending jobs overseas, for example. Right now, corporations can lower their tax bill by moving factories to lower-tax countries. That’s not right.

Read the rest of Trumka's Cap Times Op Ed here. This Op Ed also appeared in many other cities. 

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