Left with the Bill

John Weber AFL-CIO

While President Donald Trump continues to tout his massive tax giveaway to corporations, working people aren’t buying it. Gallup found that a majority of Americans disapprove of the law, and it’s easy to understand why: We know we’re being left with a bill for $1.5 trillion.

The Gallup poll is the most recent in a string of surveys finding that Americans are rejecting the new tax law. Even the law’s own backers are starting to run away from their handiwork.

While corporations are pocketing billions in tax cuts, most working people aren’t seeing a cent. In fact, 82% of Americans say they haven’t seen any difference in their taxes—or that they’ve even gone up.

A report this week from the Joint Committee on Taxation found that one provision alone funnels $17.4 billion to people making at least $1 million per year.

What’s more, despite promises that corporate tax cuts would lead to higher wages and more bonuses, working people are being left empty-handed.

In fact, less than 0.0015% of U.S. businesses have followed through and shared anything with their employees.

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Reposted from the AFL-CIO

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From AFL-CIO

Union Matters

Federal Minimum Wage Reaches Disappointing Milestone

By Kathleen Mackey
USW Intern

A disgraceful milestone occurred last Sunday, June 16.

That date officially marked the longest period that the United States has gone without increasing federal the minimum wage.

That means Congress has denied raises for a decade to 1.8 million American workers, that is, those workers who earn $7.25 an hour or less. These 1.8 million Americans have watched in frustration as Congress not only denied them wages increases, but used their tax dollars to raise Congressional pay. They continued to watch in disappointment as the Trump administration failed to keep its promise that the 2017 tax cut law would increase every worker’s pay by $4,000 per year.

More than 12 years ago, in May 2007, Congress passed legislation to raise the minimum wage to $7.25 per hour. It took effect two years later. Congress has failed to act since then, so it has, in effect, now imposed a decade-long wage freeze on the nation’s lowest income workers.

To combat this unjust situation, minimum wage workers could rally and call their lawmakers to demand action, but they’re typically working more than one job just to get by, so few have the energy or patience.

The Economic Policy Institute points out in a recent report on the federal minimum wage that as the cost of living rose over the past 10 years, Congress’ inaction cut the take-home pay of working families.  

At the current dismal rate, full-time workers receiving minimum wage earn $15,080 a year. It was virtually impossible to scrape by on $15,080 a decade ago, let alone support a family. But with the cost of living having risen 18% over that time, the situation now is far worse for the working poor. The current federal minimum wage is not a living wage. And no full-time worker should live in poverty.

While ignoring the needs of low-income workers, members of Congress, who taxpayers pay at least $174,000 a year, are scheduled to receive an automatic $4,500 cost-of-living raise this year. Congress increased its own pay from $169,300 to $174,000 in 2009, in the middle of the Great Recession when low income people across the country were out of work and losing their homes. While Congress has frozen its own pay since then, that’s little consolation to minimum wage workers who take home less than a tenth of Congressional salaries.

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A Friendly Reminder

A Friendly Reminder