By the recently formed DC chapter of US Uncut. Follow them here.
US Uncut has arrived. Inspired by the UK Uncut movement, the popular revolutions sweeping through North Africa, and articles in the Nation and Washington Post, activists in Mississippi, Chicago, New York, California, Maine, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Washington DC and elsewhere have started US Uncut to mobilize against corporate tax cheats who are costing America billions of dollars each year and forcing the government to propose deep cuts to vital services and pay freezes for hardworking families.
As reported by many major news outlets in 2008, the Government Accountability Office found that between 1998 and 2005 approximately two-thirds of all American corporations did not pay ANY income tax. Of the largest corporations, 25 percent did not pay any federal income tax despite generating over $1.1 trillion in revenue.
A recent report by Business and Investors Against Tax Haven Abuse found that US corporations and banks avoid at least $37 billion (another report put the amount as high as $100 billion) in US taxes per year, unfairly shifting the tax burden to small businesses and individuals. Even worse, some of the most egregious tax-dodging corporations are the same institutions that taxpayers were forced to bail out during the financial crisis! In 2007, Citigroup had 427 off-shore tax haven subsidiaries (in places like the Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands, and Switzerland) and received a $45 billion bailout. Morgan Stanley had 273 and received $10 billion; Bank of America had 115 and received $45 billion; JP Morgan Chase had 50 and received http://projects.propublica.org/bailout/entities/282-jpmorgan-chase; Goldman Sachs had 29 and received $10 billion; and AIG had 18 and received approximately $70 billion.
President Obama’s 2012 budget released on February 14th 2011 calls for the collection of $129 billion in revenue over the next 10 years by cracking down on corporate tax havens and abuse of foreign tax credits. While this is a noble effort, a similar initiative in last year’s budget sought to raise $122 billion by closing the same “loopholes.” Due to corporate and Republican opposition, Congress reduced that amount to just $10 billion over 10 years.
While allowing the corporate tax cheats to prosper, our political leaders are preparing more sweeping sets of service cuts and spending freezes that threaten to bring misery and despair to countless men, women and children still suffering from the economic crisis those same corporations caused. President Obama has proposed more than $600 billion in spending cuts over ten years, with some Republicans calling for up to $2.5 trillion in cuts. The long-term suggestions of the “bipartisan” budget commission are even more dire and include major cuts across the board—even to Social Security and Medicare!
We demand that before the hard-working, tax-paying families of this country are once again forced to sacrifice, the corporations who have so richly profited from our labor, our patronage, and our bailouts be compelled to pay their taxes and contribute their fair share to the continued prosperity of our nation. We will organize, we will mobilize, and we will NOT be quiet!
This has the potential to be a popular grassroots movement. Numerous polls have shown that the majority of Americans are fundamentally opposed to most spending cuts, and events in the UK have demonstrated how such an initial small effort can grow into a powerful force for social and economic change.
Please consider joining us. Our first day of action will be on the 26th February. Find out how to organise your own action here.
See you on the streets!