Marching for tax fairness


March 31, 2017

On Saturday, April 15, people across the country – and even some around the world – will be marching in recognition of Tax Day. Tax Day – the day when federal income taxes are due – actually falls on Tuesday, April 18 this year, but Saturday is a better day to march, because more people can participate.
Why are folks marching? For many, it is an opportunity for Americans to demand that President Trump release his income taxes, as he repeatedly pledged to do, a promise he reneged on in the days following his inauguration. 

Here at the Coalition on Human Needs, we are partnering with march organizers because we believe in tax fairness. Corporations and the wealthiest Americans should pay their fair share so that our country can pay for important priorities, such as funding human needs programs.  We agree that President Trump’s tax forms will tell an important story, not just about what he paid (or didn’t), but about a tax system riddled with loopholes that favors the rich and corporations at the expense of everyone else.

Many people reading this know that CHN, and more than 1,300 other allied groups, have signed on to a set of principles known as SAVE for All. SAVE stands for Strengthening America’s Values and Economy for All. In a nutshell, we believe federal budget decisions should be based on these four principles:

Protect low-income and vulnerable people.

Invest in broadly shared prosperity that raises incomes across the economic spectrum.

Increase revenues from fair sources.

Seek responsible savings by targeting wasteful spending in the Pentagon and elsewhere.

Across the country, organizers of the various marches are, in many cases, coming up with their own principles for their Tax Day events. But if you look at what the organizers of the D.C. march are doing, you can see a lot of overlap between their principles and CHN’s principles, and in the interest of full disclosure, we were consulted in the drafting.  We like the outcome, which is why we are partnering with them and supporting the Tax March. Here are the Tax March principles:

We believe in open government.

We demand an economy that works for everyone.

We believe the tax system is unfair.

We believe we have a responsibility to each other.

We believe in people over corporations.

We oppose tax give-aways to the rich and well-connected.

We believe tax justice is economic justice.

We’re glad that the march starts with a demand for transparency and follows with a demand for tax policies that work for us all.

So where are the marches happening? Well, at the time of this writing, 130 marches are planned in 40 states plus Washington, D.C. Oh, and they will be marching around the world as well – marches right now are planned in London, Tokyo, the German cities of Freiburg and Stuttgart, and the New Zealand cities of Auckland and Dunedin. Check this site to see if a march is planned in your area! And keep an eye on Voices for Human Needs, as we will be updating this space as the April 15 Tax Day activities draw near.

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