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GOP tax plan is 'the great con,' says AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka

  • The Republican tax reform plan gives more to rich people and corporations, with middle- and lower-income Americans paying for it, Richard Trumka said.
  • Billionaire investor Tom Steyer agreed, calling it a "reverse Robin Hood."
  • However, economist Lawrence Lindsey said the middle class will benefit the most from the bill.

The Republican tax reform plan gives more to rich people and corporations, with middle- and lower-income Americans paying for it, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told CNBC on Wednesday.

Republicans unveiled a framework on Wednesday that included sweeping tax cuts for both individuals and businesses, with few details on how the government might pay for them.

"It is the great con," Trumka said in an interview with "Closing Bell."

Included in the GOP plan is a proposed 20 percent corporate tax rate, down from the current 35 percent rate. Personal tax brackets would go from seven to just three: 12, 25 and 35 percent, and the standard deduction would be nearly doubled.

Trumka said a tax plan that would be good for working people should have corporations and the rich paying their fair share. It should also create enough revenue to create jobs and should destroy all incentives to offshore jobs and profits, he added.

"This tax plan fails miserably on all three of those things."

And he doesn't buy the argument that lowering the corporate tax rate would reduce incentives to send jobs overseas, calling it a "red herring." In fact, many corporations already pay much less than the 35 percent rate and yet wages have been stagnant, he argued.

"Corporate America has three years of record profits. So it's not a tax code holding them back," Trumka said.

'Reverse Robin Hood'

Billionaire investor Tom Steyer, president and founder of NextGen America, agrees the GOP plan favors the wealthy.

"Everybody would like to see less tax complexity, but I think that this plan is a very thinly disguised reverse Robin Hood," he told "Closing Bell."

"This is a tax giveaway to rich people. That is where the bulk of the money is going to go. And we know that the other side of that is it's going to be paid for by a reduction in services to middle-income Americans."

However, economist Lawrence Lindsey called that characterization "inaccurate."

He said high-income taxpayers are going to pay more taxes under the bill, with the bulk of the tax cuts going to families making between $50,000 and $100,000 a year.

"A lot of those families will see their taxes go down by half or two-thirds," said Lindsey, former director of the National Economic Council.

— CNBC's Ylan Mui contributed to this report.

WATCH: GOP tax framework is a thinly veiled reverse Robin Hood: Tom Steyer