“Will you stand with Wall Street or families like mine?” ask Constituents in 25+ Direct Actions in Iowa, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, New York, and Kansas
Starting today through November 14, everyday people across the country – families living in shelters since Hurricane Sandy, clergy, family farmers, people living with AIDS/HIV, and others – are organizing more than 25 prayer vigils, sit-ins, civil disobedience, and other home-district events to pressure Congress to refuse massive across-the-board budget cuts and fix the revenue crisis by requiring the top 2% and large corporations to pay their fair share of taxes.
“With the elections behind us, it’s time for Congress and the Administration to get to work for the American people, not a handful of CEOs. When the tax dodging ends, investments in jobs and an economy that works for everyone can begin,” said George Goehl, executive director, National People’s Action.
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This diverse group of Americans are demanding their representatives and senators agree to end tax breaks for the top 2%, institute a small tax on Wall Street trades, invest in jobs, education, health and infrastructure, and protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. The groups are affiliated with National People’s Action, a network of grassroots organizations with a reputation for creative direct actions that make public officials pay attention, including risking arrest and appearing at decision-makers’ homes.
Actions are occurring in Iowa, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, New York and Kansas (see list of actions here). For example, today in Chicago, more than 40 clergy will smash a golden calf at Sen. Dick Durbin’s office to symbolize the need to abandon greed and invest in the common good. On Friday, in New York City, a group dressed as cheerleaders – including people living with AIDS/HIV who would be devastated by Medicaid cuts and families who are living in shelters because of Hurricane Sandy – will ask Senator Schumer to be a cheerleader for New York by raising revenue to rebuild the city. (See specific tax proposals here.)
In December, the Bush tax cuts will expire, providing Congress and the Administration with a critical opportunity to require the richest 2% to pay their fair share of taxes. Massive automatic budget cuts will begin in January if Congress does not act. The automatic cuts (or sequestration) will cut $1.2 trillion in spending over the next 10 years – costing millions of jobs and decimating health care, education, aid to state and local governments, and other vital programs.
President Obama and senators working on a “grand bargain” of $4 trillion in deficit reduction are considering putting Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and social programs on the chopping block. Instead, Congress and the Administration must raise more revenues by making the wealthy and Wall Street corporations pay their fair share of taxes. Across the country this week and throughout the lame duck session, thousands of everyday people are turning out to demand their Congress Members and Senators choose families over big-moneyed interests.