Wanna Stop The Cuts? Let's Talk Corporations

It’s time to go on offense to protect vital services and benefits and to promote a more just economy by making sure that big corporations and the richest 2 percent pay their fair share in taxes.

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While there is good reason for progressives to fight like hell to protect cuts to Social Security, Medicare and other vital programs following the release of President Obama’s budget, we always seem to find ourselves on defense. It’s time to go on offense to protect vital services and benefits and to promote a more just economy by making sure that big corporations and the richest 2 percent pay their fair share in taxes.

For the past two weeks, Americans for Tax Fairness – a coalition representing more than 280 national and state groups co-chaired by the Center for American Progress, AFSCME and National People’s Action – has been stepping up pressure on Congress to raise $ 1 trillion, in part by closing corporate tax loopholes. We’ve been exposing a “Corporate Tax Dodger of the Day” leading into April 15 -- the always stressful “Tax Day.”



It’s not always the preferred topic -- raising taxes -- but let’s face it: millions of working families pay more in taxes some years, or pay a much higher income tax rate, than some of the biggest and most profitable corporations in America pay. Think ExxonMobil, General Electric, FedEx, Verizon, Wells Fargo and more. That’s wrong and I know I’m talking to folks who agree.

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Today our coalition released a report that highlights a top ten list of companies screwing over the rest of us.

So where do we go from here? Let’s start with the release of President Obama’s budget. There were a lot of good things in Obama’s budget about taxes. He would raise more than $600 billion over the next 10 years from the richest 3 percent, mainly by limiting their tax deductions to the same rate as middle-class Americans. And he would close nearly $350 billion in corporate tax loopholes that go to companies that shift profits and jobs overseas, subsidize polluters, and coddle Wall Street.

Unfortunately, the President did not propose to use the savings from closing those corporate tax loopholes to protect Social Security or to reduce the deficit. Instead he has proposed that the money saved be plowed right back to corporations by lowering their income tax rate and by providing other subsidies. That’s unfair. And it’s just plain misguided.

Average Americans believe in fairness. Everything we care about -- healthcare, education, roads, public safety -- depends on a shared investment and everyone paying their fair share of taxes. That’s why our campaign isn’t just working inside the Beltway, we’re in communities and neighborhoods across the country.

Let me be blunt: We need your help. Now is the time for us to mobilize to make sure corporations pay up. On Tax Day our coalition will mobilize events in over two dozen states under the brand "WHO PAYS" that show how tax breaks for the rich and loopholes for corporations increase burdens on our families. Details of the events are online but even if there is not something happening near you, please join us and keep involved in this fight as it builds over the next few weeks.

Frank Clemente is a Campaign Manager for Americans for Tax Fairness.

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