By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson
Three new progressive organizations, with three distinct but complementary purposes, have surfaced over the last few weeks. Last week I told you about Cognitive Policy Works, its Progressive Strategy Handbook, and the strategy group that is at work developing the progressive brand, so that people will know at once what progressive candidates stand for the way they know about conservative candidates.
The second organization you should know about is US Uncut. It draws its inspiration from the British UK Uncut, an anti-austerity group whose research unearthed the huge amount of unpaid taxes owed by UK corporations. Rather than make poor and working class people suffer the pains of the government’s determination to impose an austerity budget, the group took to the streets to demand the rich ones pay up.
The story is here, and you’ll feel richer already from having read it.
There is an alternative to Barack Obama’s proposed austerity budget (which he said would not be on the backs of the middle class, before recommending that the federal fuel assistance program for low income families and elders be cut in half — these are my words, not US Uncut’s) the organization says.
Make corporate tax avoiders pay.
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?
It’s time for ordinary Americans to fight back and demand an end to the corporate tax avoidance. Join US Uncut and together let’s make corporate tax avoiders pay.
This Saturday, Feb. 26, will see a few dozen US Uncut actions around the country. Not Wisconsin-sized rallies, but creative, innovative demonstrations, sit-ins, and the like at appropriate sites, to call attention to how corporations’ failure to pay up is bleeding us dry. If you can get to one of these, you’ll be joining a nascent movement that stands to play a major role in turning things around.
Think about it: If corporations paid what they owe, the austerity budget would be unnecessary and the tea party politicians could sit down and enjoy their tea.
Look at this map and see where the nearest action to you will take place. Beneath the pointed dot you’ll find all the information you need to take part.
If you can’t get to one of Saturday’s events, how about organizing another for next week? US Uncut won’t do it for you, but they’ll help. You’ll find contact information below the map.
People in the streets are what will make our rebellion against the deadbeat corporations happen. Peaceful people, insistent people, creative people, determined people. Will you be one of them?
My next post will be about Russ Feingold and Progressives United, a political action committee. Things are happening. If Egypt and Tunisia can do it, why can’t we?