AFSCME Joins Call for Corporate Tax Reform

by Karl Stark  |  May 19, 2011

On Wednesday, AFSCME joined other unions and allies in the progressive community across the country in telling lawmakers to put their money where their mouth is when it comes to tackling the federal budget deficit. In all, over 250 non-profits, consumer groups, unions and faith-based groups signed onto a letter calling on Congress to enact corporate tax reform that raises revenue.

Just as in Wisconsin, Ohio, Florida, Michigan, and other states across the country, politicians in Washington, DC, have proposed draconian cuts to essential public services while letting their corporate cronies off the hook:

It makes no sense for Congress to debate cuts in public services that working families rely on while ignoring the public spending that benefits corporations and is hidden in the tax code...

Some lawmakers have proposed to eliminate corporate tax subsidies and use all of the resulting revenue savings to pay for a reduction in the corporate income tax rate. In contrast, we strongly believe most, if not all, of the revenue saved from eliminating corporate tax subsidies should go towards deficit reduction and towards creating the healthy, educated workforce and sound infrastructure that will make our nation more competitive.

Even in the face of an 8.7% national unemployment rate and budget shortfalls in states across the country that have caused over 400,000 layoffs since 2009, the view from the corporate boardroom couldn’t be sunnier. While raking in record profits in 2010, many of America’s largest corporations avoided paying even one cent in taxes.

So what did they do with all this extra cash? Use it to hire back workers? Increase investments to help stabilize the economy? Fat chance — CEO’s kept it for themselves.

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