Skip to main content

Fair Taxes and Economic Recovery

Resolution No. 61

WHEREAS:

The federal budget, which includes both expenditures and tax revenues, reflects America’s priorities and should address the needs and interests of the population; and

WHEREAS:
Congress has the responsibility to determine on an annual basis the spending and funding levels needed to support state and local government public services, including education, health care, employment and training, public safety, child care and Head Start, transportation, environmental protection, and other vital needs, which benefit the people – especially working families and impoverished Americans; and

WHEREAS:
Congress must also make decisions about Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare, which provide social safety net protections for many Americans – especially those suffering difficult times; and

WHEREAS:
During former President George W. Bush’s years in office, 2001 to 2009, the rich got richer and received enormous undeserved federal tax breaks, while middle-class wages were stagnant and the poorest Americans lost ground; and 

WHEREAS:
Fair and accountable tax policies ensure that to help fund government services, all Americans and businesses selling products in America contribute their fair share – based on their ability to pay; and

WHEREAS:
All AFSCME members’ jobs depend on tax revenues, including significant federal revenues, to fund vital public services provided for Americans’ common good and welfare; and

WHEREAS:
The federal tax code is full of many inequities and loopholes for large profitable corporations and the wealthiest taxpayers, including unfair tax breaks for corporations that ship American jobs and profits overseas and higher tax rates for wage income than for investment income, like the “carried interest” loophole which benefits multi-millionaire hedge fund managers; and

WHEREAS:
Many of former President Bush’s individual income tax breaks expire at the end of 2010, including reduced tax rates for the individual income tax’s highest brackets, lower tax rates for non-wage investment income like capital gains and stock dividends, and reduced tax rates and higher exemptions for the estate tax; and

WHEREAS:
The federal tax gap is estimated at more than $300 billion per year, including underreporting, underpayment, and non-filing; and

WHEREAS:
Large profitable corporations and entire industries are pushing federal legislation to pre-empt state and local government taxing authority, which would increase corporate profits and simultaneously reduce revenues for states and localities.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED:
That AFSCME urge Congress and President Obama to enact a progressive annual federal budget and spending bills that fully fund vital public services, including services that AFSCME members administer, monitor, and deliver; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED:
That AFSCME work to ensure former President Bush’s tax breaks for the richest 5 percent of Americans expire at the end of 2010, including reduced tax rates for the individual income tax’s highest brackets, reduced tax rates on capital gains and stock dividends, and reduced rates and higher exemptions for the estate tax; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED:
That AFSCME urge Congress and President Obama to enact legislation to close existing tax loopholes for large profitable corporations and the wealthiest Americans, oppose new costly, reckless, inefficient tax cuts, and enact legislation and implement policies to reduce the federal tax gap and thereby minimize unreported and unpaid federal tax revenue; and
 
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED:
That AFSCME work to oppose congressional legislation that would pre-empt or weaken the taxing authority of state and local governments.
 
 
SUBMITTED BY:
INTERNATIONAL EXECUTIVE BOARD