TOWS Joint Statement: Groups demand Wall Street pay its fair share in taxes

Washington DC – On Tuesday, groups with the Take on Wall Street campaign made their voices heard outside a Senate Finance Committee hearing, opposing tax cuts for millionaires, billionaires, and wealthy corporations, and demanding that tax legislation focus on closing loopholes and making Wall Street pay its fair share. In a tongue-in-cheek action, dressed as rich Wall Street executives, protesters carried signs with messages like “Tax Relief for Wall Street” and urging legislators to “Spare a Few Loopholes.”

“When millionaires, corporations, and special interests abuse tax loopholes to avoid paying their fair share in taxes, it’s not only unfair to the rest of us, it threatens our basic standard of living for the middle class and working families. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public education, and many other priorities are targeted for cuts by Donald Trump’s and Paul Ryan’s budget plans. Why? To pay for tax cuts for the rich and powerful. It’s reckless and irresponsible. We need Wall Street and the wealthy to pay more in taxes, not less. Congress needs to close loopholes, not make new ones.” — Frank Clemente, executive director, Americans for Tax Fairness

CWA Legislative Director Shane Larson said, “CWA and our allies are determined to end the almost unlimited handouts for corporations and Wall Street players who have rigged our economy against ordinary Americans. It’s time to make Wall Street pay its fair share. Under our skewed tax system, working families foot the bill for mega-corporations and billionaires, and the 1 percent still wants more. We need tax policies that stop this ‘runaway inequality’.”

“Don’t be fooled by the Republican mantra that ordinary Americans will benefit from slashing taxes on Wall Street, the wealthy, and big corporations,” said Sarah Anderson of the Institute for Policy Studies. “Corporations and banks that have already been paying next to nothing in federal taxes have generally had worse records on job creation than other big U.S. firms.” Anderson is the author of the recent New York Times op-edIt’s a Myth That Corporate Tax Cuts Mean More Jobs.”

“Wall Street has raked in record profits as our communities struggle to make ends meet with low-wage jobs and austerity budgets. Lining their pockets with more loopholes and giveaways won’t create a single job. We need a budget that invests in health care, in cleaning up our air and water, in rebuilding the communities devastated by storms, fires and Wall Street disinvestment,” said Jessica Juarez Scruggs, deputy policy director of People’s Action, a national grassroots network dedicated to fighting for racial, economic and climate justice. “All across the country, our members are calling on Congress to put people and planet before yet another handout for the 1 percent.”

“After crashing the economy, escaping accountability for massive frauds and now swamping the Trump administration with Goldman Sachs detailees, Wall Street should not be re-writing the tax code,” said Susan Harley, deputy director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division. “The charade is over; the American public knows that Wall Street always has its self-interest at heart, and proposals to gut government services like Medicare, Medicaid, and public education to slash taxes for the rich and profitable corporations do nothing but hurt communities and further fatten the pockets of the 1 percent.”  

“When big banks and Wall Street money managers already avoid paying billions of dollars a year in taxes by using various loopholes, it’s unconscionable to be considering new tax cuts and loopholes for them” said Luísa Galvão, a representative from the Take on Wall Street campaign. “Congress must restructure tax policies so they work for ordinary Americans, not reward Wall Street greed and manipulation.”

The Take on Wall Street campaign, a group of over 50 community groups, unions, consumer advocates and others, including Americans for Financial Reform, Communications Workers of America, Public Citizen, Institute for Policy Studies, the AFL-CIO and Americans for Tax Fairness, is calling on Congress to adopt a set of tax reform measures that would raise more than $1 trillion in additional revenue and discourage dangerous Wall Street speculation.