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Joe Biden’s economic leadership is inspiring AFSCME members to vote

Former Vice President Joe Biden (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Joe Biden’s economic leadership is inspiring AFSCME members to vote
By AFSCME Staff ·

The economic free fall that followed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic has hit working families almost exclusively. While the richest Americans have seen their wealth grow during the past six months, millions of average Americans have lost their jobs.

People in public service have felt this crunch. While they’ve been asked to do more than ever in the wake of the pandemic, their jobs are at risk. State and local governments have seen enormous pressure on their budgets, leading to furloughs and layoffs of the very people keeping our country running during the pandemic.

But we’ve seen virtually no leadership from the Trump White House. Instead of funding those on the front lines and getting the pandemic under control, President Donald Trump has denied the scope of the problem and focused on helping billionaires and big corporations instead of ordinary Americans.

That’s why America needs Joe Biden.

“I saw Joe Biden, and I believe he has the talent and the experience to make this country whole again,” says Keith Lowry, an EMT with AFSCME Local 2960 in Surprise, Arizona.

Josette Jaramillo, who has been continuing to visit foster homes as a social worker in Pueblo, Colorado, says Biden wants to help average Americans.  

“He really has it in his heart that he wants to make sure that working people are doing well,” said Jaramillo, a member of AFSCME Local 1335 (Council 18).

Biden has promised to make corporations and the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share of taxes, rewarding work instead of wealth.

“I want to drive on good roads. I don't mind paying those taxes at all,” says Jaramillo.

At work, she does health and safety checks on children and the elderly, work funded by taxes. “So I certainly see the benefit of paying taxes. I just don't understand why people like myself are having to carry the majority of that tax burden.”

Trump himself doesn’t pay his fair share of taxes. In the year he was elected and the year following, he paid just $750 in federal income tax, an astonishingly low figure for someone who represents himself as a successful billionaire. According to a New York Times examination of his taxes, he hasn’t paid any federal tax at all for 10 of the past 15 years.

He might be just another rich person evading taxes if he weren’t the president of the United States. But Trump’s tax avoidance isn’t just a sign of personal moral failure. It’s also the basis of his entire economic policy: benefit wealthy people like himself while leaving working people behind.

“The rest of us pick up the tab,” says Lowry. “Instead of cutting education funding for children, we should ask millionaires to pay a tax rate at least as high as their secretaries that work for them.”

Biden, says Lowry, understands what it means to be on the side of working people. “He's shown time and time again that he supports the middle class. He supports the American worker. He supports unions.”

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