Tax Day Actions Demand 1%, Corporations Pay Their Fair Share


Written by Mike Hall AFL-CIO blog

David Watson knows a thing or two about taxes. You don’t get to be a millionaire without learning the ins and outs of the tax system.Tuesday morning on the steps of the federal building in Sacramento, Calif., Watson—a member of the Patriotic Millionaires—told a Tax Day demonstration of union members, community, faith and other activists a couple of the lessons he’s learned.

“The tax system is designed to give me breaks that I didn’t ask for and I don’t need. Our taxes [millionaires’] are historically low. We’re supposed to have a progressive tax rate in this country. We don’t.”

The Sacramento action—click here to read the Twitter feed from the California Labor Federation—was just one of hundreds of  “Tax Wealth Not Work,” Tax Day actions around the nation today.

Activist coalition

Activists from AFL-CIO, Working AmericaMove On and other unions and progressive groups of  the 99% Spring coalition demanded that the 1% and corporations pay their fair share.

Outside an Iowa Workforce Development office in Ames—one of several that Gov. Terry Branstad (R) closed last year—workers slammed Rep. Steve King (R) for his support of the Republican/Romney/Ryan budget that gives millionaires and huge corporations  more tax breaks than they already get. AFSCME member Daniel Noonan says:

Regular, middle-class Iowans are getting shafted. Instead of focusing on the economy and helping unemployed Iowans, too many of our elected leaders like Representative King are taking care of their big donors… It’s outrageous and unacceptable. Iowans deserve better.

Outside a Bank of America branch in Raleigh, N.C., union activist Jeremy Sprinkle told The Progressive Pulse reporters:

We’re out here because working families are frustrated on Tax Day that they are paying their fair share and millionaires and too many corporations are not doing what they need to.  We want politicians to start paying attention to what matters. That means investments in jobs. That means investments in public education. That means taking care of the middle class because the middle class made this country.

Picket Grover Norquist

In Washington, D.C., demonstrators marched outside of super-lobbyist Grover Norquist’s office and called on elected officials to reject Norquist’s anti-tax pledge to protect the 1% and called for proper funding for Medicare and Social Security, not tax cuts for millionaires.

Jack Irby, a retired member of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco and Grain Millers (BCTGM) from Smyrna, Tenn., used a letter to the editor in The Tennessean to call for the 1% and big corporations to pay their fair share. “Every year, we grumble about filing taxes. But I know taxes keep the roads safe, the water free of pollution, and protect my community and country. We pay because we pride in our work and value our community.”

It’s time millionaires and corporations pay their fair share, too. But Congress is considering bestowing more tax giveaways to the super-wealthy with the budget by Paul Ryan and House Republicans.

Related stories:

GOP Derails ‘Buffett Rule’ Taxes on Wealthy

The Rich Are Different From You and Me – They Pay Fewer Taxes

The Latest Millionaires Tax Is Proposed By A Republican

Canadian Doctors: “Tax Us More”


Photo from The Progressive Pulse via Youtube


MarLeah McIntosh
Jodi Moreno4 years ago

Wow, Jim C. I think you need to read this Wikipedia article and get back to us. Your hero, W, caused a LOT of damage in his 8 years.

But, I digress, you right-wing trolls (especially here on this site), have no interest in educating yourself to the ACTUAL facts.

Lynda Duke
Lynda Duke4 years ago

Its time for the corporations and 1% to pay their fair share of the taxes. Its not right that the lowest paid working stiff pays more taxes than the rich person who has it all. FAIR SHARE TAXES!

Jim Coke
Jim Coke4 years ago

seth c.: I fear we have a disconnect (factually, not technically). Most of the assertions you make are inaccurate by my reckoning. For example: Bush didn't follow "trickle down economics", as Reagan supposedly did, and he has been criticized by many conservative Republicans for not doing so. Nevertheless, most of Bush's presidency brought huge economic growth, and during most of his Presidency unemployment ranged from 4 1/2% to 5 1/2%. At the very end of his term, it reached a high of about 6 1/2%. In Bush's last year, the stock market exceeded 14,000, still an all-time high. Unemployment is now, and has been since shortly after Obama took office, around 8 1/2%, and has topped out at around 9 1/2% during Obama's term. The "workforce", i.e., the total number of Americans employed in relation to the population, is the smallest since 1983. The reported "unemployment" numbers include only those still looking for work, and are thus somewhat misleading.

Obama's antipathy towards business (other than "green" enterprises) has exacerbated unemployment. Far from what you imply, he has hamstrung employers by enacting burdensome regulations and restrictions and, worse, has threatened many more. The result has been that many businesses cannot, or will not (for fear of future Obama policies), increase hiring, but will put everything "on hold" until the situation stabilizes and they feel safe to "go out on a limb" and do more hiring to increase production. The President's at

seth c.
seth c.4 years ago

Anyway Jim, I can say you differ from most who disagree with me on here. It was great having a level headed debate with someone who doesn't just revert to calling you (me) a socialist, communist, etc. And I wasn't calling you ignorant, I was calling that position ignorant. 50 years from now our children's children will look at gay marriage like we look at women not having a right to vote. Getting ready for work now, have a great day all.

seth c.
seth c.4 years ago

Actually Jim, I am a CPA for a mid-size "corporation" in Sacramento, CA. So I know a little about the tax code. Putting it in easy to understand terms can be challenging though.
Also, your statement that gays can marry but many just choose not to is ignorant, I'm sorry to say. Equality means that gays (which I am not) can get married in every state, just as straight couples can. Anyone who believes in "civil unions" is discriminating whether they are big enough to admit it or not. If one person enjoys a right that another person doesn't, it's discriminating. As a christian I find it appalling that so many of my fellow "christian's" act the way they do toward gay marriage. Jesus spoke of accepting everyone (thus he healed a prostitute), loving others as you love yourself, and treating others as you would like to be treated. I would think with the high divorce rates, adultery, and domestic violence among heterosexual marriages, maybe "straight" people should worry about they're own marriages. Anyway, to say gays are treated equal when in most states in this nation they have little or no rights, is being ignorant or deceptive.

seth c.
seth c.4 years ago

We should all remember one thing; there is no such thing as tax cuts. Tax cuts have to be paid for, and the tax payer has to pay for it (unless you do what Bush and the GOP did and run up a huge deficit by not paying for the 2001 & 2003 tax cuts, two wars, etc.). Yeah, Obama inherited a shyt load of debt before he even moved in to the White House (but thats another story altogether). Tax cuts result in a lack of revenue for the government, thus the government must make up that loss which means cutting other programs. So when we give huge tax cuts to the rich, the poor and middle class pay for it (indirectly) through cuts or elimination of programs they rely on. That, anyone can figure out, is not fair.
The bewildering part is that a majority of the rich say they think it would be fair if they paid more in taxes (i.e. higher tax rate). But, since the GOP is held hostage by good ol' Grover, they refuse to raise taxes on the rich (which means the poor and middle class indirectly pay for it).

Jim Coke
Jim Coke4 years ago

seth c.: I never said Obama was "unpatriotic". Of course gays can marry - but most don't choose to. They have exactly the same rights as heteros, but they choose not to exercise them. They want to have a relationship that is not marriage, and have the government recognize it as marriage. That's not "equality" - equality means being treated the same way by the law as everyone else, not special treatment. Honestly, I have nothing against gays (I consider homosexuality a genetic variation), but it's difficult to pretend something is "marriage" when it's not. I think "civil unions", and the like, are fine. I just resist the misuse of the term "marriage", which has an established meaning rooted in biology (male/female) going back to primitive times.

You throw out phrases like "corporate welfare" and "tax cuts for the rich", which are mere slogans. Frankly, I'm not knowledgeable enough about the technical specifics of the tax code to get into "the weeds" - as I'm sure you know, it's massively complex, and has a long history of amendments and court rulings. My basic point, though, is that "fairness" is a highly elusive term, and lends itself to subjective applications (and propaganda), especially in the realm of politics.

I didn't "quote the Constitution" out of context, but only alluded to a couple of key words and to the absence of the word "fairness". There's so much in your comment that I think is mistaken, I'm not able to reply adequately in a short, spontan

seth c.
seth c.4 years ago

Jim C. - I get the point your trying to make, but the bottom line is this; giving huge tax cuts to the wealthy ($1 million + yearly "income") and huge corporations, while making the middle class pay for them (cutting programs for the poor, disabled, elderly, education, public safety, etc.) is not only not fair, it is economic suicide. The GOP calls it "trickle down economics" and we have seen how well it works (Bush administration). The question should be; why does the GOP protect the rich even knowing that it puts more burdens on the rest of society ? Why does the GOP attack the poor and middle class who receive government assistance, but protect billions in "subsidies" (government hand out) for oil companies and other large corporations ?

Jim Coke
Jim Coke4 years ago

Ian F. How much more? Can you give a specific figure? If not, how can you say the "rich" should be taxed more? You need to know exactly how much they should be taxed before you can say it should be more, otherwise maybe they should be taxed less, for all you know. It seems that everyone thinks they know just how much everyone else should be taxed - they're all-knowing geniuses (at least in their own minds).

seth c.
seth c.4 years ago

Jim C. - how is a middle class family paying 20% - 25% "equal" (i.e. fair) to a rich person who pays 12% - 13%. Also, Obama has stated many times that he is in the 1%, he doesn't run from that like Romney. Yes, he (Obama) wants to raise his own taxes - how unpatriotic. Equal means no more corporate welfare and tax cuts for the rich, especially when we have a deficit. The Bush tax cuts will add about $3 to $5 trillion to our debt over the next decade, and most of those "cuts" went to the wealthy while we pay for them.
Also, equal would mean gays could marry. But the GOP fight that at every turn. I guess you only quote the constitution (which you took out of context) when you think you can use it against Obama, but not when the GOP stomp all over it (which they do 10x more than Dems)