Congressman Darrell Issa’s 49th District is one of a handful targeted nationally for a seven figure ad campaign by a coalition of groups demanding proposed changes to the tax code not provide giveaways to corporations and wealthy individuals.
The “Not One Penny” campaign will incorporate direct action and activism, building on the energy from last spring’s Tax March and the Our Lives on the Line national day of action in opposition to Trumpcare.
Ongoing protests aimed at Issa will focus on plans by Congressional Republicans and the White House to enact tax-reform legislation this year. Depending on the language in the final version, between 47.3% and 99.6% of the tax cuts under consideration will flow to the wealthiest 1% of the population.
Organizations joining the Not One Penny campaign include Tax March, Civic Action, Indivisible Project, MoveOn, Public Citizen, Stand Up America, Working Families Party, Patriotic Millionaires, Americans for Tax Fairness, SEIU 32BJ, Demos, Credo, Economic Policy Institute, Social Security Works, Citizens for Tax Justice, National Women’s Law Center, Money Out Voters In, State Innovation Exchange Action, UltraViolet, ProgressNow, and more.
“These organizations are coming together to defeat Congressional Republicans schemes to rig the tax system even further in favor of the wealthiest Americans and major corporations at the expense of working Americans,” said Nicole Gill, Executive Director of Tax March.
“Instead of securing giveaways for the rich, we need to fight for a tax code that makes the economy work better for working families. People deserve a voice in this debate, not just the Koch brothers and other wealthy campaign donors who are calling for tax breaks that will line their own pockets.”
From the Washington Post:
The goals of Not One Penny (as in, “not one penny in tax cuts for the rich”) are laid out in a pledge on the campaign website. “The last thing we need is for the tax code to be even more rigged in favor of millionaires, billionaires, and corporate insiders,” write organizers. “Even more tax breaks for the super rich will undermine our commitment to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, and make it impossible to invest in the middle class.”
The anti-“rigging” rhetoric runs right into the messaging that tax cut supporters began using this week. At a series of events at the Newseum, two hubs of the Koch donor network — Freedom Partners and Americans for Prosperity — debuted a logo for their “un-rig the economy” campaign, which had been underway for a month.
Progressives see an opening in that message — an admission, by the supporters of tax cuts, that reform can’t be seen as a benefit only for the very rich. Polls this year from Pew and Gallup have found supermajorities of voters skeptical that corporations pay sufficient taxes. In April, 63 percent of voters said that the rich were taxed “too little” in the current system; 67 percent of voters said the same of corporations.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says any tax overhaul will be shielded from a likely Democratic filibuster, using the procedural protections of budget reconciliation. As was true in the battle over health care, these means he’ll need a solid GOP block.
Missing from the Republican sales pitch will be information about how they intend to pay for their proposed tax cuts. Depending on which version makes it to the final vote, budgetary shortfalls created by these plans range from $3.1 to $4.8 trillion over the coming decade.
Although GOP concerns about ‘balancing the budget’ have largely disappeared since the general election, it’s a safe bet they’ll be favoring cuts to programs favoring those who stand to see the least benefit from any tax cuts.
An analysis of Republican spending plans by the Center for American Progress provides a peek at what to expect:
Budgets, it is often said in Washington, are moral documents meant to convey priorities. House Republicans’ fiscal year 2018 budget makes their priorities crystal clear—namely, delivering tax cuts to millionaires at the expense of America’s struggling working families.
The budget’s radical, sweeping cuts to programs that everyday Americans rely on should be a wake-up call for anyone who believes that congressional Republicans are more reasonable than President Donald Trump. Like the budget the Trump administration released in May, House Republicans’ budget would gut services for people with disabilities, eviscerate Medicaid, cut Social Security, and hike costs for families struggling to afford college.
Among the cruelest elements of the proposal is its plan to decimate the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Previously known as food stamps, SNAP is the nation’s largest nutrition assistance program and helps ensure that families do not go hungry when a parent loses a job, when an emergency strikes, or when wages simply aren’t enough to make ends meet. Two-thirds of SNAP benefits go to children, seniors, and people with disabilities; in 2015, SNAP lifted 4.6 million people, including 2 million children, out of poverty.
“But what about the jobs?” will be the rallying cry for supporters of the Republican so-called tax reform plan.
Despite real-life statistics to the contrary, supporters of tax decreases for the wealthy always try to invoke the mantra of job creation.
Research covering the decades since the end of WWII shows “no correlation between the top marginal tax rate and per-capita economic growth or growth in employment, capital investment, productivity, or pre-tax median family incomes,” according to economist Jared Bernstein.
California’s economy, where taxes on the wealthy were increased in the wake of the great recession, stands in stark contrast to Kansas, where massive tax cuts have failed to stimulate the economy or job growth.
The Not One Penny coalition aims to draw a bright red line in the political sands: Not one penny in tax cuts for millionaires, billionaires, and wealthy corporations.
When Congress returns, this concept needs to be a focus for activism in the coming months. Take the Pledge and connect with this campaign here.
I’ll just leave this right here…
Trickle-down economics is a fraud and we will not accept it. It is and it has always been an abysmal failure and a fraud. pic.twitter.com/mhLcob7asU
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) August 9, 2017
Looking for some action? Check out the Weekly Progressive Calendar, published every Friday in this space, featuring Demonstrations, Rallies, Teach-ins, Meet Ups and other opportunities to get your activism on.
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