On Friday, April 1st, 2011, 1,500 Montanans flooded the Capitol lawn to voice their objections to sweeping and hurtful cuts in the Montana state budget. “Courage, Not Cuts!,” was their rallying cry. The “No Fooling with Our Future Rally” was presented by Montana Organizing Project leaders and activists, who partnered with many groups within the Partnership for Montana’s Future.
Last Thursday, April 14, Washingtonians from all walks of life put on their walking shoes and set out on the People’s Walk for Our Future. The five-day, 50-mile walk included stops at places in communities that are facing devastating cuts because of Washington’s $5 billion revenue shortfall: schools, mental health clinics, and many more. Legislators are choosing to make these deep cuts over closing tax loopholes for big out-o- state banks and corporations, and walkers wanted to make clear that they would not take it lying down. Read more
Did you know…
- The federal government collected less in taxes in 2010 than it has in over three generations, and tax rates are at historic lows
- The Bush tax legacy means we currently tax wealth less than work: middle-income paychecks are taxed at 25% compared to stock dividends and capital gains for the wealthiest, which are taxed at a top rate of only 15%.
These statistics come from Demos’ Taxes Matter Top Ten Stats. During the week leading up to Tax Day, Demos, a public policy and advocacy organization, has been publishing articles and infographics on how we think about taxes. Read more at Our Fiscal Security.
This year Uncle Sam pushed Tax Day back to April 18, giving us all a three-day tax filing holiday. It’s almost enough to make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. Until, that is, you hear about GE, which apparently is on extended vacation, paying essentially nothing in taxes for 2010 despite raking in $5.1 billion in U.S. profits and $14.2 billion worldwide. And who’s footing the bill for GE’s tax vacation? We are. Read more
At 8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 6, Lieutenant Mark Arras of the Washington State Patrol addressed a crowd of 100 people who had filled the Capitol Building rotunda with sleeping bags and pillows. They had taken up camp in the Capitol to protest state budget cuts slashing social services like health care and education. “We are asking you to leave,” Arras said. “If you are waiting for us to arrest you, we are not going to do that. We respect your right to be here. Please work with us, and we will work with you.”
Arras was greeted with cheers, thanks, and applause, which quickly gave way to a chant that had been heard many times that day, “Whose house? Our house!” Read more
Every year thousands of immigrants being held on Rikers Island are transferred to federal custody and deported. Only about half of them have a criminal record, many of them are here legally, most of them have their due process rights violated and all of them are subjected to substandard conditions before being returned to their countries of origin. Read more
In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicaid and Medicare into law.
At the signing ceremony, he spoke of the tradition of leadership that compelled the country to create such programs. He also spoke of another tradition, one embedded in our national identity and values. He said this value “calls upon us never to be indifferent toward despair. It commands us never to turn away from helplessness. It directs us never to ignore or to spurn those who suffer untended in a land that is bursting with abundance.”
Unfortunately, the recent actions of many Members of Congress fly in the face of this tradition. Read more
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