May 24, 2012  |  

Congress Must End Bush Tax Breaks for Richest 2%

New Tax Reform Campaign Announces Launch

A coalition of major think tanks, advocacy, small business and labor groups today announced the launch of a grassroots campaign, Americans for Tax Fairness, to support a tax system that works for all Americans, beginning by ending the Bush-era tax breaks for the richest 2 percent on the money they make over a quarter million dollars a year.

“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.”

There are proposals on the table to end the Bush tax cuts for those making $1 million a year. One of the coalition members, Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ), estimates that 43 percent of the tax revenue would be lost if the threshold for extending the Bush tax breaks is set at $1 million in income rather than at $250,000 – the level President Obama has proposed. In addition, CTJ estimates that half of the breaks resulting from moving the threshold from $250,000 to $1 million would go to people with income exceeding $1 million.

Americans for Tax Fairness adheres to the following principles:

Americans for Tax Fairness was established to help make the economy work for all — with adequate levels of investment in critical areas that create and sustain jobs and a balanced and equitable approach to decisions on the federal budget challenges we face. This requires raising sufficient revenues with everyone, including corporations, paying their fair share of taxes. As a member of Americans for Tax Fairness, my organization supports the following principles:

  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.

Americans for Tax Fairness, which has just begun to form, includes the following founding organizations representing millions of Americans:

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
OMB Watch
PICO National Network
Service Employees International Union
The Arc
United for a Fair Economy
Working America