Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Photos/Videos: Make Them Pay Tax Day Rally at BOA in Albuquerque
This is a report by M.E. Broderick, who also provided the photos and videos.
Local activists and ordinary people pissed off at the greedy big banks and corporations gathered for a rally at the base of the Bank of America building in downtown Albuquerque on Tax Day, April 18. A MoveOn-inspired rally in conjunction with US UnCut and other groups featured about 150 demonstrators spread out along the building and around the intersection. Many horns honked as those driving by expressed their agreement with the signs and messages of the protestors. Similar rallies were taking place all over the nation that day. Main message: Make the wealthy and corporations pay their fair share of taxes to help fix the deficit many of them were instrumental in creating.
People are clearly fed up with the status quo that protects moneyed interests and instead puts the screws to workers, seniors, middle class families, teachers, government workers, the sick, the disabled and other vulnerable citizens. I interviewed several attendees to see what their particular reasons were for taking the time to attend a downtown noon-time gathering. Here are three of them:
I asked Charles Daman Catlet what message he had for President Obama, Sen. Tom Udall and Sen. Jeff Bingaman. He said, “No message for them because they are part of the problem. My message is to the American people. You want to really take back your country? Protest against the corporations because they own the government. Don’t protest the government because they can change those people out any day they want. Follow where your money goes, make your dollar count." He goes on to explain how to do just that:
Suzanne Prescott spoke for the group US UnCut, an organization whose main purpose is to find and out corporate tax cheaters like the one being targeted by this demonstration -- Bank of America -- and pressure the government to make them pay their rightful share. BOA is a massive corporation that took billions in taxpayer bail-out money only to give huge bonuses to its CEOs and take their money offshore to shelter it in tax havens. On its website, US UnCut explains:
US Uncut is a grassroots movement taking direct action against corporate tax cheats and unnecessary and unfair public service cuts across the U.S. Washington's proposed budget for the coming year sends a clear message: The wrath of budget cuts will fall upon the shoulders of hard-working Americans. That's unacceptable.
... Enjoying record profits and taxpayer-funded bailouts as the economy slowly recovers from a financial crisis, nearly two-thirds of US corporations don't pay any income taxes, instead opting to abuse tax loopholes and offshore tax havens. According to this study from the non-partisan Government Accountability Office, 83 of the top 100 publicly traded corporations that operate in the US exploit corporate tax havens. Since 2009, America’s most profitable companies such as ExxonMobil, General Electric, Bank of America and Citigroup all paid a grand total of $0 in federal income taxes to Uncle Sam. Tax havens alone account for up to $1 trillion in tax revenue lost every decade, money that could be invested in K-12 education, colleges, public health, job creation and hundreds of other worthy public programs.
If we pay our taxes, why don’t they? If corporations profit here, shouldn't they pay here?
If you agree, get involved with US UnCut. Learn more from a US UnCut speaker at the April 23 meeting of the Gray Panthers at Highland Senior Center from 12 noon to 2:30 PM. Click for info. Or attend the next US UnCut meeting from Noon to 2:00 PM on April 30 at the Highland Senior Center. All are welcome. For more info contact John Shipley at 505.873-8689 or email@example.com.
Suzanne Prescott: Let's make some trouble!
Enough Is Enough
As this protestor said, in part: "The people run this country not the corporations! I have had enough of this crap! Put them back in their place with a 70% tax rate like we had here under JFK and, if that does not stop them, we need to put them under a 90% income tax rate that we had under their lord and master, Eisenhower. To hell with these people! I have had enough! I don’t know about you!"
Just the Facts on Top Tax Rates
Want to see how low taxes really are these days for our top income bracket? Check out this chart (pdf) of the top tax rates since 1913. And here's a chart that covers the top corporate tax rates for the same period. But remember, even given the posted rates, almost no big corporations pay the top tax rate -- due to all kinds of special loopholes written into our tax code just for them, paid for with "campaign contributions" to the president and members of Congress.
The next time you hear anyone defending the Bush tax breaks for the wealthy or the low rates on corporations, claiming -- like the Republicans are -- that they need even more breaks, just give them the facts, sir and ma'am ... just the facts!
I checked with John Shipley and the date I announced for the next UNCUT meeting was correct. THE NEXT UNCUT MEETING IS APRIL 30TH AT HIGHLAND SENIOR CENTER.
All are welcome ! For more info contact John at by calling 505.873-8689 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by: suz | Apr 20, 2011 1:24:56 PM
Ah, so there are two upcoming meetings. One that's US UnCut itself on 4/30 and a Gray Panthers meeting where John Shipley will present a talk on US UnCut. I will make the fixes. Thanks!
Also, you might encourage John to create a Facebook page for the group so events can be posted and people can sign up easily!
Posted by: barb | Apr 20, 2011 1:47:58 PM