House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the AFL-CIO reiterated their opposition to extending the Bush tax cuts for earnings over $250,000, even as speculation mounts that the Obama administration may, at some point, cut a deal to extend them temporarily.
Speaking to NPR, Pelosi said:
Well, our position in the House has been we support the tax cuts for the middle -- for everyone, but not an additional tax cut at the high end.
It's too costly. It's $700 billion. One year would be around $70 billion. That's a lot of money to give a tax cut at the high end. And I remind you that those tax cuts have been in effect for a very long time, they did not create jobs.
And AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka released a statement today calling an extension of the tax cuts "absolutely insane":
It is absolutely insane that in these tough economic times some people want to continue George W. Bush's tax give aways to millionaires. Working families are losing their jobs, their benefits and their homes. They are the ones who need help.
We need to focus on creating jobs by giving tax breaks only to middle class families and investing in rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure and green technologies. Millionaires and Wall Street already had their party, which tanked our economy and left Main Street stuck paying the bill.
Speaker Pelosi is exactly right that there should not be a so-called compromise on this issue. Working families will fight by her side to prevent another give away to millionaires. The election is over and now it's time for politicians to show courage and stand and fight on these issues for working families. Let the millionaires fend for themselves for a change.
We need to expose the rank hypocrisy of those calling for these millionaire tax cuts -- which would add hundreds of billions to the deficit. These are the same elected officials who say we can't afford to maintain benefits for the jobless -- and should cut Social Security and Medicare for working families and seniors in the name of so-called deficit reduction.