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Working Families Call on Wall Street Firms to Pay Their Taxes

Michigan Nurses Association Press Release, 2/20/13

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 (Detroit, MI)  Working people passed out leaflets in front of Chase Bank on Woodward Avenue this afternoon, calling on corporate special interests to pay their fair share in taxes.


Wall Street CEOs, part of the misnamed “Fix the Debt” group, are pushing for cuts in lifeline benefits like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to reduce our national debt. But a big part of our debt comes from their refusal to pay their fair share in taxes—and they want to keep the loopholes in place so they can keep right on doing it.


“Wall Street banks like Chase and CEOs got us into this mess and they should pay their share to help get us out of it,” said Ashley E. Forsberg, a registered nurse from Lansing who attended to show support for a tax on Wall Street.  “Corporations don’t need a safety net – the working people of Michigan do. There’s no way we should even think about cutting programs like Social Security and Medicare while corporations just get richer.” 

 

Corporate tax-dodging costs us hundreds of billions of dollars every year. One of the most dangerous and costly loopholes allows corporations to avoid paying taxes on income they earn overseas.

 

JPMorgan Chase & Co., with 91 operations in tax havens, has $21.8 billion in overseas accumulated earnings the United States does not tax. If taxed here, that would add $4.9 billion to the U.S. tax coffers. CEO James Dimon’s total 2011 compensation was $23.1 million.

 

“Every few weeks we experience a new financial crisis manufactured by Republicans,” said Ronnie Rosner, an unemployed certified paralegal.  “If they were really serious about cutting the deficit, they would make big corporations pay their fair share.  Chase is just one example of an even larger problem.”

 

We can save money—and protect critical social insurance programs—by taking these commonsense steps to close loopholes that cost our country, threaten the middle class and enrich the already wealthy:

 

• Eliminate the tax benefit corporations receive from sending jobs overseas ($583 billion);

 

• Close other corporate tax loopholes so Wall Street starts paying its fair share of taxes (hundreds of billions of dollars over 10 years);

 

• Tax the income of Wall Street hedge fund and private equity managers at the same rate as wage income ($21 billion);

 

• Collect a surtax of at least 5.6% on income greater than $1 million ($453 billion over 10 years) so fewer millionaires can avoid paying their fair share of taxes;

 

• Implement a “Buffett Rule” to ensure millionaires pay an effective tax rate of at least 30% on all their income ($47 billion);

 

• Limit the extra benefit of tax deductions for the richest 2% of Americans ($293 billion); and

 

• Collect a minuscule tax on Wall Street trading of foreign currencies, derivatives, bonds and stocks to discourage harmful speculation (raising more than $350 billion).

 

For more information, visit http://aflcio.org/protectourfuture

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Photo Credit: Sara Wallenfang

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