The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Lee Farris, 617-423-2148 x133

United for a Fair Economy: No Deal is Best Outcome for American People

UFE Applauds Super-Committee Outcome


United for a Fair Economy (UFE) praised Democrats on the Super-Committee who blocked Republican members' demands for bigger tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires coupled with deep cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid that would hurt most Americans.

"Democrats on the Super-Committee said the right way to reduce the deficit is to require - once again - that millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share of taxes, while cutting unnecessary military spending. The Super-Committee was not able to reach agreement because Republicans refused to ask millionaires and corporations to pay one more dime," said Lee Farris, Federal Tax Coordinator for United for a Fair Economy.

Farris continued, "We at United for a Fair Economy are telling our thousands of members to urge Congress to refocus on creating jobs and on ending tax breaks for the wealthy. Polls show that a clear majority of Americans at every income level share these priorities. Americans know these priorities are the best way to build an economy that works for everyone, not just a few in the wealthiest 1%."

Mike Lapham, Director of UFE's Responsible Wealth project, noted that more than 100 wealthy business owners and investors, including a number of millionaires, had signed a letter to the Super-Committee [ PDF]. The letter stated the signers were willing to pay higher taxes, and did not want to see cuts to programs like Medicare that help everyday Americans. They also noted that the lack of a Super-Committee deal would not change their investment decisions. Lapham said, "Responsible Wealth members are glad that Super-Committee members heard our message and stopped the bad deal sought by Republicans."

The following individuals are available for comment regarding the Super-Committee outcome:

  • Arul Menezes, Research Manager and Software Architect, Microsoft Research, WA: "As an upper-income taxpayer whose wealth was entirely earned, rather than inherited, I feel my success was in great part due to the egalitarian and meritocratic society I encountered when I came to the U.S. That society has been all but destroyed by the current tax code. Today, much of my income is from capital gains and dividends. I find it grotesque that these forms of income should be taxed lower than income from work."
  • Phillippe Villers, President of Grainpro Inc., Concord, MA: "I am willing to pay more taxes to save the American economy. As an investor, I make decisions based on the opportunity offered, not the tax rates for wealthy Americans. Cutting Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security will not help to revive our struggling economy. I strongly oppose any compromise in the Super-Committee that does not include new revenues from those who can afford them, like myself. At least half or more of any deficit reduction plan should come from progressive revenue sources."
  • Jim Wellehan, President of Lamey-Wellehan Shoes, Auburn, ME: "I find it terribly frustrating that other large national and international companies pay little to no taxes. To continue with an unfair tax code is to encourage cheating. We should tax incomes of all types at the same rates, be they from capital gains, rent, dividends, interest or work."
  • Lee Farris, Federal Tax Policy Coordinator for United for a Fair Economy.
  • Mike Lapham, Director of UFE's Responsible Wealth project.
  • Dozens of other business owners, investors and wealthy individuals in the top 5 percent of the U.S. economy who signed the letter to the Super-Committee.

United for a Fair Economy challenges the concentration of wealth and power that corrupts democracy, deepens the racial divide and tears communities apart. We use popular economics education, trainings, and creative communications to support social movements working for a resilient, sustainable and equitable economy. United for a Fair Economy believes another world is possible. We envision a global society which respects the humanity, rights, and creativity of all people.