Clashing Priorities This Tax Day: GOP Wants To Slash Services, Americans Want Fairer Taxes

April 18, 2023

In Pilgrimage to Wall Street, McCarthy Demands Reduced Aid for Families—Huge Coalition Urges Tax Reforms on Rich to Protect Social Security, Medicare 

WASHINGTON – Clashing fiscal priorities are on full display this Tax Day. The day after GOP House Speaker Kevin McCarthy traveled to Wall Street to announce that his party would trigger a recession by letting the U.S. fall into default unless working-family services ranging from food aid to child care to education were cut, a broad coalition of over 350+ organizations representing millions of Americans, including Children’s Defense Fund, Color of Change, Health Care for America Now, Main Street Alliance and MoveOn, alongside unions including the AFL-CIO, AFT, CWA, AFSCME and SEIU, demanded Congress protect and strengthen public services with fairer taxes on the rich and corporations. 

Hundreds of organizations led by Americans for Tax Fairness this morning delivered a letter to Congress urging prompt action to avoid default together with a fundamental shift in the tax-and-spending debate. Instead of service cuts, the groups called for “major new investments…in services that benefit working families” paid for by “ensuring the wealthy and corporations pay a fair share of taxes.” 

“Tax Day is when we settle up accounts with Uncle Sam—and also a good time to reflect on what kind of tax policy we want in this country,” said David Kass, executive director of Americans for Tax Fairness. “Do we fall for the Republican scheme of default brinkmanship, tax cuts for the rich and corporations, reduced services for working families and higher debt? Or do we follow the path laid out by President Biden and his fellow Democrats of paying our bills on time, fairer taxes on the wealthy, strengthened public services and lower deficits? Voters have made clear they choose the second option—it’s time for members of Congress to catch up to their constituents.”

Polling shows repeatedly that Americans all along the political spectrum want to more fairly tax the rich rather than reduce services for working families. President Biden and fellow Democrats have embraced this popular cause. 

Earlier this year the president proposed $5 trillion in higher taxes on the rich and corporations to protect, expand and improve working-family services including Medicare, Medicaid, preschool, childcare, housing and more. Those tax reforms (along with lowering the cost of Medicare pays for prescription drugs) would also pay down $3 trillion in national debt. No one making less than $400,000 a year would pay more tax.

Today Senate Budget Committee chairman Sheldon Whitehouse will unveil bills to strengthen Social Security, Medicare and other vital public services by demanding the rich pay a fairer share of taxes. Senator Whitehouse’s “Medicare and Social Security Fair Share Act” would close loopholes that currently allow the highest earners to duck out on making their full contribution to the two programs. His “Paying a Fair Share Act of 2023” would ensure the privileged 0.2% of Americans with over a million dollars in annual income pay a tax rate of at least 30%. 

Meanwhile, McCarthy and his fellow Republicans want $130 billion in budget cuts this year alone that would deny millions of working families medical care, food aid, and preschool, among other vital services. At the same time, they want to preserve major Trump tax cuts that are expiring, will cost $3 trillion and mostly benefit the wealthy: millionaires would get nearly $50,000 in the first year alone under their plan while most families would get less than a dollar a day.