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Resolutions & Amendments

38th International Convention - San Francisco, CA (2008)

Fair Taxes and Economic Policy

Resolution No. 14
38th International Convention
Moscone West
July 28 - August 1, 2008
San Francisco, CA

A fair tax system asks citizens to contribute to the cost of government services based on their ability to pay; and

All AFSCME members’ jobs depend on tax revenues to provide funding for vital public services provided for the common good and general welfare of all citizens; and

Under current tax and economic policies, the wealthiest Americans have gotten much richer, while just about everyone else has gotten squeezed. The richest one percent of families, those with an average income of $1.6 million, will get an average tax cut of $92,000 in 2010, including cuts in income and estate taxes, while the poorest 60 percent, those with incomes under $44,000, will get only 12-15 percent of the total tax cuts in 2010; and

The cost of the Bush tax cuts for the years 2001 through 2010 will total about $2.6 trillion and if the Bush tax cuts are all made permanent, as the President has proposed, that will cost another $5 trillion over the 2011-2020 period; and

President Bush’s tax cuts and his federal budgets have resulted in huge cuts in vital domestic services, such as education, health, public safety, child care, Head Start, employment and training, transportation, environmental protection, community and regional development and other programs, in order to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy; and
The federal budget, which was in surplus when President Bush took office, now has a large and growing deficit, which will top $400 billion for fiscal year 2009; and

President Bush’s failed tax and economic policies have had major, detrimental effects on the federal tax system and its ability to pay for the cost of essential public services. Making the tax cuts permanent, as President Bush has proposed and which Senator John McCain supports, would perpetuate these very serious problems; and

At the state and local level, tax systems do not raise the revenue needed to meet all the responsibilities those jurisdictions are given.  They are structured so that low- and middle-income Americans pay a greater share of state and local taxes than the wealthy and they suffer from widespread tax avoidance by businesses.

That AFSCME will work to reform state and local tax systems to close unfair loopholes exploited by the largest corporations, increase their revenue-generating ability and establish a more equitable distribution of taxes on all income groups; and

That AFSCME will work to support a fair federal budget that fully funds the vital public services that AFSCME members provide and will oppose any federal budget that underfunds these services; and

That AFSCME will oppose federal tax policies that increase tax breaks for the richest taxpayers and large corporations, including President Bush’s proposal to make permanent the repeal of the estate tax, extend reduced tax rates for capital gains and dividends and reduce taxes on the highest income brackets; and

That the irresponsible and reckless tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and corporations must be rescinded and replaced with more progressive, fairer tax and economic policies that benefit all Americans.
SUBMITTED BY: Elissa Cadillic, President and Delegate
AFSCME Local 1526, Council 93