Protest Calls for Revenue to be used to Avert Education Cuts
Rocklin, CA – A large crowd of students, parents and education advocates gathered at Rocklin City Hall yesterday to demonstrate their opposition to Representative Tom McClintock’s vote for the Ryan budget that makes major spending cuts while refusing to ask corporations to pay one more cent in taxes. Instead of balancing spending cuts with revenues, the Ryan budget gives corporations and the wealthiest Americans a $5.7 trillion tax cut. In response to the action organized by California Fair Share and Organizing for Action, Representative McClintock’s staff announced that he will offer an amendment to close corporate tax loopholes.
“We applaud Representative Tom McClintock for agreeing to take action to close corporate tax loopholes that allow the wealthiest corporations to pay no taxes on their record profits,” said California Fair Share Organizer Patrick Stelmach. “Sequestration and further budget cuts proposed in the Ryan budget come with dire consequences for California’s economy and education system. We can stop these cuts while generating the revenue that we need to make a dent in our debt by making sure corporations pay their fair share, just like the rest of us. We look forward to seeing Representative McClintock’s amendment to close the tax loopholes, and we urge him to invest the new revenue back into California’s schools and colleges.”
Community Outreach Director, Norman Gonzalez, told the group that Representative McClintock has heard the pleas of his constituents and will offer an amendment in the budget appropriations process to close all loopholes for all corporations.
The group marched from Rocklin Elementary School to Rocklin City Hall and chanted, “Close the loopholes, stop the breaks, save our schools for goodness sakes!” While Representative McClintock’s staff held meetings inside City Hall, activists walked a picket line outside holding signs and delivering speeches asking Representative McClintock, “Whose side are you on? Wealthy corporations or the middle class?” They then delivered an invoice to Representative McClintock’s staff, totaling $4,211,000,000 – the amount of total annual corporate income tax revenue lost to California because of offshore corporate tax havens.
“The sequester and the Ryan budget are terrible for California’s teachers and students,” said Los Rios College Federation of Teachers President Dean Murakami. “Community colleges and school districts are already tightening their belts – we cannot afford another hit to federal education funding. Programs for disadvantaged children, college students and workforce training will be among the most impacted by the sweeping cuts. The sequester includes a $91 million cut to Title I services for low-income students, $72 million cut for special education funding, $146 million cut in student aid programs, $56.3 million cut to career and technical education state grants, and $131 million cut to Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Grants.”
“It’s time to see some real leadership and a bipartisan compromise in Washington so that we can avoid massive funding cuts to necessary services that assist the most vulnerable kids in our region,” said Eureka Union School District Board Trustee Andy Sheehy. “I am hopeful that our congressional leaders will put the needs of their most vulnerable constituents before partisan politics. After years of massive cuts and deferrals, the public education system in California simply cannot absorb another round of funding cuts and it’s time for Congress to come to a compromise and demonstrate the value that they place on our kids and our schools.”
“Education is near and dear to us, and these budget cuts are very disheartening,” said Organizing for Action Neighborhood Team Leader Larissa Parecki. “When I was in law school, I had to pay my way with work study. I wouldn’t have been able to afford it with just loans and grants. Cutting federal work study programs and early education programs, like Head Start, jeopardizes the quality of our education system. Representative McClintock has to see the big picture: education cuts affect the economy and jobs, because our children are our future.”
A poll* from earlier this month shows that these cuts are out of touch with the opinions of most Americans. The majority of people would rather raise taxes than cut spending for education, transportation, Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid. Recent research also shows that the federal government loses around $90 billion annually — and all state governments about $40 billion — to foreign tax havens that allow corporations to hide their profits abroad without taxation. That is just one of the tax loopholes that companies like Wells Fargo and GE are using to pay no taxes.