Richard Trumka Statement on Tax Cut Deal>

Richard Trumka Statement on Tax Cut Deal

by Lil Joe
December 8, 2010

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka today issued the following statement on the tax cut deal reached between President Obama and congressional Republicans:

"Two years ago, working Americans had high hopes that we would ultimately emerge from the deep, punishing financial debacle with a sharp focus on a fundamentally stronger, fairer and more balanced economy. Today, that vision has dimmed.

"The tax cut deal rewards Republican obstructionism by giving the wealthy the tax breaks they demanded. It throws away precious resources needed for investments in jobs and our economy on upper income tax cuts that will do very little to propel economic growth-setting up excuses for the deficit hypocrites to argue for even more cuts to programs serving working families. It lards the tax cuts for the top 2 percent with an indefensible cut in the estate tax-giving yet another bonus to the super-rich. Taken together, this package locks in the growing income inequality that has plagued our country for at least another two years-and quite possibly much longer.

"It is unconscionable that the price of support for struggling middle class families and workers who have been unable to find jobs for months and months and months is yet more giveaways for our country's wealthiest families. Millions of jobless workers have lived in fear for months while Senate Republicans had the gall to use their hardships as political leverage for the benefit of the rich.

"The gains for the middle class and jobless workers in the deal come at too high a price.

"The issue we face today is not the lack of power or opportunity. The question we have to answer is this: How do we use our power to escape caving in to Wall Street and moneyed interests? And how do we create the millions of jobs we need now and move toward a future of broadly shared prosperity?"
http://blog.aflcio.org/2010/12/07/richard-trumka-statement-on-tax-cut-deal/


Commentary
by Lil Joe


AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka today issued the following statement on the tax cut deal reached between President Obama and congressional Republicans:

"Two years ago, working Americans had high hopes that we would ultimately emerge from the deep, punishing financial debacle with a sharp focus on a fundamentally stronger, fairer and more balanced economy. Today, that vision has dimmed."

Lil Joe's Comment:

The Democratic Party is just as much responsible for the 'Bush tax cuts to the wealthy', which President Obama wants to continue, and turning over hundreds of billions of dollars of tax paying workers money over to finance and industrial capitalists while forcing e.g. UAW workers to take wage and benefits cuts. It was in the Democratic majority led Senate and House of representatives, subsequently that the the union's supported Card Check legislation was rejected and single payer health care, public option, competitive prescription drugs legislation was defeated. Just this week a pay freeze was imposed on federal employees, and social Security on one hand, and on the other proposed increases in military spending to the Iraq and Afghanistan occupations, spending to financeimperialist policies of buying quislings and lackeys, arming and funding the Israeli mass murder campaigns and arms and funds for Pakistan and Egypt as well.

So, the Democrats, through the labour officers in the trade unions, by continuing to pose economic conflict of interests of workers and capitalists as psychological and emotional i.e. having been one of 'working Americans' delusional 'high hopes', based in illusory perceptions of what the economy actually is, as now having turned into 'disappointment'. This is still evading the empirical economics and material facts of class interests and conflicts of irreconciliable class interests that are the actual basis of politics.

Capitalist commodity production on the basis of wage labour is an objective economic process that can be empirically observed, constant capital and the labour time required to transform the subjects of labour transferring and adding value can be timed and thus exploitation quantified, the degree of exploitation and rate of surplus value empirically quantified. This is what 'American workers' need to learn to recognize and analyze as the basis for recognition and formulating actual class interests and demands.

On the other hand rhetorical buzz words and loaded terms articulated in demagogic flowery rhetoric viz. a so-called 'fairer and more balanced economy' are not just euphemisms but deceptions, which are the articulations of illusions that keep American workers ignorant and gullible.

The capitalistic mode of production and appropriation is based on capitalist's appropriation of proletarian labour power and the exploitation of workers in the self-expansion of capital. This is the definition of 'a fundamentally stronger' capitalist economy. Capital accumulation is exploitation.

There is no such thing as 'fairness' in a mode of production based on exploitation, and there is no 'balance' in capitalist relations of production's mode of appropriation as the appropriating capitalist class is dominate and the workers whose labour power is appropriated are subordinate. It is a power-dependence relationship in which the capitalist class has the power to hire and fire and the workers are dependent.


AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka:
"It is unconscionable that the price of support for struggling middle class families and workers who have been unable to find jobs for months and months and months is yet more giveaways for our country's wealthiest families. Millions of jobless workers have lived in fear for months while Senate Republicans had the gall to use their hardships as political leverage for the benefit of the rich. The gains for the middle class and jobless workers in the deal come at too high a price.

"The issue we face today is not the lack of power or opportunity. The question we have to answer is this: How do we use our power to escape caving in to Wall Street and moneyed interests? And how do we create the millions of jobs we need now and move toward a future of broadly shared prosperity.
http://blog.aflcio.org/2010/12/07/richard-trumka-statement-on-tax-cut-deal/

Lil Joe's Comment:

Broadly shared prosperity? What is talked about as 'broadly shared prosperity' is nothing but 'tickle up' capitalist economic theory. Set aside the buzz words in this flowery phrase and what is really being advocated is the increased exploitation of wage labour by capital.

"Prosperity" is not an economic category. It is a buzz word that is itself a red herring, to divert from actual economic categories. There is no such thing as an income/sociological 'class' the lifestyles of said members determining whether or not they are 'prosperous' or not.

This myth is based on the false conception of classes determined by 'income brackets', 'rich' and 'poor', 'lifestyle' and so on.

Upper Class
1.Upper Upper
2.Middle Upper
3.Lower Upper

Middle Class
1.Upper Middle
2.Middle Middle
3.Lower Middle

Lower Class
1.Upper Lower
2.Middle Lower
3.Lower Lower

These 'socioeconomic categories' are based ostensibly on 'income brackets' -i.e. how much money one appropriates as 'income', are ideological and arbritary, in contrast to empirical economic categories, which are reflections of actual, i.e. empirical phenomenological relations of production's class formations resting on modes of approproriation - i.e. what is one's income is as an economic category is determined not by 'how much money' one appropriate's as 'income bracket' but is an empirical matter of what one's 'income' is e.g. wages, profits, interests or rent. The proletarians income is wages, the capitalist's is profits, the - capitalist owners of the productive forces and proletarians as workers who sell their labour power to capitalists.


David Ricardo:
On Value

"The value of a commodity, or the quantity of any other commodity for which it will exchange, depends on the relative quantity of labour which is necessary for its production, and not on the greater or less compensation which is paid for that labour. (See David Ricardo: On The Principles of Political Economy and Taxation @ http://www.econlib.org/library/Ricardo/ricP1.html#Ch.1,%20On%20Value)

"In speaking then of commodities, of their exchangeable value, and of the laws which regulate their relative prices, we mean always such commodities only as can be increased in quantity by the exertion of human industry, and on the production of which competition operates without restraint.
(Ricardo op. cit. http://www.econlib.org/library/Ricardo/ricP1.html#Ch.1,%20On%20Value)

David Ricardo:
Chapter 5
Of Wages

"Labour, like all other things which are purchased and sold, and which may be increased or diminished in quantity, has its natural and its market price. The natural price of labour is that price which is necessary to enable the labourers, one with another, to subsist and to perpetuate their race, without either increase or diminution.

"The power of the labourer to support himself, and the family which may be necessary to keep up the number of labourers, does not depend on the quantity of money which he may receive for wages, but on the quantity of food, necessaries, and conveniences become essential to him from habit, which that money will purchase. The natural price of labour, therefore, depends on the price of the food, necessaries, and conveniences required for the support of the labourer and his family. With a rise in the price of food and necessaries, the natural price of labour will rise; with the fall in their price, the natural price of labour will fall.

"The exchange value of a commodity estimated in money is called its price. Wages therefore are only a special name for the price of labour-power, and are usually called the price of labour; it is the special name for the price of this peculiar commodity, which has no other repository than human flesh and blood. ( See Karl Marx: Wage Labour and Capital @http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1847/wage-labour/ch02.htm)

"Real wages express the price of labour-power in relation to the price of commodities; relative wages, on the other hand, express the share of immediate labour in the value newly created by it, in relation to the share of it which falls to accumulated labour, to capital. http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1847/wage-labour/ch06.htm

"The sum of the necessary labour and the surplus-labour, i.e., of the periods of time during which the workman replaces the value of his labour-power, and produces the surplus-value, this sum constitutes the actual time during which he works, i.e., the working-day. (See Karl Marx Capital Vol. I @ http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/ch09.htm#S4)


These empirical economic categories of class correspond to the modes of appropriation of labour power and its products, the distribution of wealth created by workers in the labour process to capitalists, bankers and workers, respectively as profits, interests and wages.

The referral to capitalists in the nebulous 'category' of 'upper class' or 'upper income bracket' is a euphemism to evade the fact that their income as profits is derived from the parasitic exploitation of value engendering labour.

It is nebulous because qua 'higher' or 'upper' so-called 'income bracket' it seperates actual classes and conflicts of class interests by throwing into this category along with capitalists, also 'rich' entertainers, sportsmen and women, professionals such as doctors and lawyers, scientists and educators, artists and journalists, and others who make more than $250,000.00 a year.

In reality, those professionals and so on who make $250,000.00 a year work for their money. An actress or actor, sportsmen and women, scientists, doctors, lawyers, journalists are hired by capitalist owners of studios, stadiums, ball clubs, hospitals, law firms, television and news papers or magizine publishers, and they actually work for their money whereas those who hire these professionals profit from their performances, that is work. That is why entertainers, sportsmen/women, actors, journalists and so on organized unions that represent their interests in opposition to the capitalist owner's 'exploitation' of their performance time.


Richard Trumka asserted:
The tax cut deal rewards Republican obstructionism by giving the wealthy the tax breaks they demanded. It throws away precious resources needed for investments in jobs and our economy on upper income tax cuts that will do very little to propel economic growth-setting up excuses for the deficit hypocrites to argue for even more cuts to programs serving working families. It lards the tax cuts for the top 2 percent with an indefensible cut in the estate tax-giving yet another bonus to the super-rich. Taken together, this package locks in the growing income inequality that has plagued our country for at least another two years-and quite possibly much longer.

Lil Joe's Comment:
Although it was a great recording by the O'Jays in the 60s when they wrote against "the rich and the super-rich', the O'jays were recording artists, not economists and not trade union leaders working for the Democratic Party. The issue is the capitalist class.

"The tax cut deal rewards Republican obstructionism by giving the wealthy the tax breaks they demanded" is not outside the capitalist mode of production and exploitation of wage workers.

The Democrats as well as the Republicans respresent the capitalists as a class, its appropriation of wage labour and exploitation of those workers. The workers produce the wealth and the capitalist own it.

"It throws away precious resources needed for investments in jobs and our economy on upper income tax cuts that will do very little to propel economic growth-setting up excuses for the deficit hypocrites to argue for even more cuts to programs serving working families".

Since when has the capitalist economy become "our economy", from a worker's perspective? The productive forces are the private possession of the capitalist classes and the State, all the workers 'own' are their labour power and by selling it to capitalists attain possession of means of subsistence.

The only means by which the so-called 'American economy' can be the possession of the American working classes is if the working classes take back their unions from the Democrats, that is the trade union bureaucrats who are Democratic Party partisans, and this can be done but by running workers in the union elections on the basis of affiliation with the Labor Party. Such trade union elections would be based on Labor Party advocates winning leadership of the unions on the basis of a program for workers themselves as Labor Party candidates for the House of Representatives becoming the majority in the House, and there legislating the transfer of the productive forces from the private possessions of the capitalist classes to the public property of the working classes.

Of course, it is evident that a House of Representatives dominated by members of the Labor Party, workers - would have to abolish the Senate, the Presidency and the Judiciary to become the sole governing body, at once legislative and executive. This means a new Constitutional Convention, a gathering solely of workers, the poor and of minority representatives to write a new Constitution in place of the old one, which was written by and in the interests of the appropriating classes.

The worker's government, by transferring the productive forces from the private possessions of the capitalist classes, would put an end to capitalist commodity production and wage labor, markets and unemployment, and therefore an end to investments, and taxes as there will be no more money in the economy or in Society.

With the productive forces in the hands of the workers themselves and commodity production and markets done away with these workers would instead themselves manage production and distribution of goods and services from each according to his and her ability, and to each according to their needs and wants.

These working class objectives are not a utopia, and not a delusional 'audacity of hope'. These working class objectives are demanded by the fact that the advances in industry and technology have already made the capitalist mode of appropriation impossible, its breaking down is what the current 'financial debacle' is sympomatic of. That capitalist commodity production by wage labour can be 'fair' and 'balanced' are the illusory utopia.

The capitalists and their politicians are living for today, as they know just as well as working class socialists and communists do, that capitalism's days are numbered. If and when capitalist appropriation ceases, there will be no markets, no taxes and the workers management of production and distribution will displace any need for a State.

Democrats and Republican and their doomsday ideologists issue phrases and flowery rhetoric about the world of 'America's children and grandchildren' to not being 'burdened by debt of this current generation' is the clap trap they spout to sell to American workers taxes and wage freezes, and cut backs in medicare and social security cost of living denials, ostensibley to 'balance the budget' and eradicate the government deficit by cutting 'government spending'. This is a demagogic con job.




ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff

Richard Trumka Statement on Tax Cut Deal


AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka today issued the following statement on the tax cut deal reached between President Obama and congressional Republicans:

Two years ago, working Americans had high hopes that we would ultimately emerge from the deep, punishing financial debacle with a sharp focus on a fundamentally stronger, fairer and more balanced economy. Today, that vision has dimmed.

The tax cut deal rewards Republican obstructionism by giving the wealthy the tax breaks they demanded. It throws away precious resources needed for investments in jobs and our economy on upper income tax cuts that will do very little to propel economic growth-setting up excuses for the deficit hypocrites to argue for even more cuts to programs serving working families. It lards the tax cuts for the top 2 percent with an indefensible cut in the estate tax-giving yet another bonus to the super-rich. Taken together, this package locks in the growing income inequality that has plagued our country for at least another two years-and quite possibly much longer.

It is unconscionable that the price of support for struggling middle class families and workers who have been unable to find jobs for months and months and months is yet more giveaways for our country's wealthiest families. Millions of jobless workers have lived in fear for months while Senate Republicans had the gall to use their hardships as political leverage for the benefit of the rich.

The gains for the middle class and jobless workers in the deal come at too high a price.

The issue we face today is not the lack of power or opportunity. The question we have to answer is this: How do we use our power to escape caving in to Wall Street and moneyed interests? And how do we create the millions of jobs we need now and move toward a future of broadly shared prosperity?
http://blog.aflcio.org/2010/12/07/richard-trumka-statement-on-tax-cut-deal/



LabourPartyPraxis discussion - subscribe