Trumka: ‘I Pay More than My Fair Share’ of Taxes

By Christopher Goins | December 13, 2011 | 10:38 AM EST

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (AP Photo)

-  AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka says that he should be paying more in taxes – but added that he’s “sure” he’s paying more than his fair share. asked: “President Obama and the White House have defined the wealthy as those who make above $250,000 a year. You made, with benefits, according to, $283, 340 in 2010 --.”

Trumka interrupted: “That includes expenses by the way. They distort those little things. But what’s your point?” continued: “-- and therefore (are) part of the wealthy according to Obama. Should you as AFL-CIO president pay more in taxes?”

“Yes,” Trumka said.

When asked if he thought he wasn’t paying his fair share, Trumka said: “I pay more than my fair share, I’m sure.”

He continued: “But do I need to pay more? Yes. Do the people at the people at the bottom need a break? Yes. Do the people at the top need to have more tax breaks? No.”

The AFL-CIO president also said thought that if left to their own volition, people would not pay taxes voluntarily. asked: “We have the ability as citizens in this country to voluntarily pay [taxes] to the Treasury directly. Just go to their Web site. Do you encourage that at all?”

“Look, that’s a system that doesn’t work,” Trumpka said. “Look, you know it, if taxes were voluntary who would pay taxes?”

Trumpka made his remarks at the “Executive Pay and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act” conference. He gave the introductory remarks for the keynote speaker Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.).

In his speech, Trumpka talked glowingly of the Occupy DC protestors camping on the McPherson Square lawn in Washington.

“On that colorful camp of hardy activists is a constant reminder of why the Dodd-Frank Act is needed,” Trumpka said. “Many of the occupiers of McPherson Square and of parks in other cities across the country have either lost their jobs, lost their homes, and they’ve lost their retirement savings,” he added.

“They’re angry that the Wall Street banks caused the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression – received a $700 billion taxpayer bailout and then turned around and spent millions of dollars lobbying against financial reform,” Trumka said.