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At a time when politicians in both parties send signals that they favor extending the George W. Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy, more than 30 progressive groups have launched 'Americans for Tax Fairness', a group dedicated to ending the Bush tax cuts on the upper 2 percent of Americans, those making more than a $250,000 annually.
“We established Americans for Tax Fairness to help make the economy work for all,” said Americans for Tax Fairness Campaign Manager Frank Clemente. “To achieve this goal, we need adequate levels of investment in critical areas like education and rebuilding infrastructure that create and sustain jobs. We also need a balanced and equitable approach to the federal budget challenges we face, which includes protecting critical services for the middle class and the most vulnerable. This requires that we all pay our fair share of taxes, especially big corporations and the richest 2 percent making more than a quarter of a million dollars a year.”
Despite Nancy Pelosi's suggestion that $1 million is a better number, it appears that more than 40 percent of the savings generated by letting the tax cuts expire would be eliminated at the higher number, with half of that savings benefiting millionaires. David Dayen and others argue this situation is a mess and that Pelosi's comments don't help resolve the situation much.
Americans for Tax Fairness announced their principles (via press release):
1. America needs an economy that grows jobs and works for all. Our nation has urgent needs, including creating sufficient jobs, investing in education and making college affordable, rebuilding our deteriorating infrastructure, shoring up Social Security and Medicare for the long term, reducing poverty and protecting the most vulnerable, and reducing the federal deficit in a balanced way as the economy recovers.
2. Everyone must pay their fair share. We need to reform our tax code so it raises adequate revenues to meet critical needs in a fiscally responsible manner — starting with wealthy Americans paying their fair share. This includes ending the Bush tax breaks for the richest 2 percent of Americans.
3. Put American jobs first by closing corporate tax loopholes. We also need to eliminate tax breaks and subsidies that allow some corporations to pay very limited amounts of taxes, or avoid paying taxes altogether, while encouraging multinational corporations to ship jobs overseas. Corporations’ share of federal taxes has declined dramatically over the years; therefore, any corporate tax reform should require the corporate sector to contribute more in federal income-tax revenue than it does now, not less.
The members of the new coalition include:
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
Alliance for a Just Society
American Federation of Government Employees
American Sustainable Business Council
Brandon and Associates
Business for Shared Prosperity
Campaign for America’s Future
Center for American Progress
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Citizens for Tax Justice
Coalition on Human Needs
Economic Policy Institute
Financial Accountability & Corporate Transparency (FACT) Coalition
Leadership Center for the Common Good
Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights
National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare
National Council of La Raza
National Education Association
National People’s Action
National Women’s Law Center
PICO National Network
Service Employees International Union
United for a Fair Economy