For Immediate Release
Ali Jost, 202-730-7159
Mark McCullough, 202-730-7283
Kawana Lloyd, 202-730-7087
Tax Day 2012: Workers Rally to Call on Rich, Corporations to Pay Their Fair Share
WASHINGTON - Thousands of SEIU members and their allies will rally today, Tax Day, in cities across the country to raise awareness of the gross disparities in the nation's tax code and to demand that policymakers ensure the economy works for everyone, not just for corporations and the richest 1 percent. In support of these efforts, SEIU President Mary Kay Henry released the following statement.
"Our country's lopsided tax structure has fueled the most drastic income inequality in history. On this tax day, working people are rightly frustrated with a system that has failed to live up to our nation's ideals of widespread opportunity and instead rewards the rich and corporations with huge tax breaks and loopholes - sometimes even for sending jobs overseas.
"The fact that most millionaires pay a smaller percentage of their income in taxes than the average worker runs contrary to our country's ideals of fairness and equality. Corporate income taxes account for a tiny 1 percent of the nation's GDP, but some of our nation's policy makers tell working people that, in spite of historically low tax rates, the wealthy few and corporations pay 'too much' and if we just allow them to keep more of their wealth, eventually the rest of us will benefit. This trickle-down theory has never worked, and now working people-the 99 percent-are rightly taking a stand and saying 'enough is enough.'
"Just yesterday, U.S. senators had a chance to stand with the 99 percent by passing the Buffett Rule, which calls on millionaires to pay their fair share. A group of Senators blocked the bill even though poll after poll shows that the public favors eliminating tax giveaways for the rich. Those who voted against this bill owe their constituents an explanation.
"Workers are rallying today because they fundamentally believe that we all have a responsibility to invest in our nation's prosperity - including corporations and the rich. But it's a bitter pill to swallow when the system is rigged to allow corporations to dodge paying taxes, while home care workers, janitors, sanitation workers and other working people are falling behind and struggling to support their families."
With 2 million members in Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in the Americas. Focused on uniting workers in healthcare, public services and property services, SEIU members are winning better wages, healthcare and more secure jobs for our communities, while uniting their strength with their counterparts around the world to help ensure that workers—not just corporations and CEOs—benefit from today's global economy.