What are we getting for our +20% in combined taxes? Let’s compare, point by point, with the Swedish guy above and they talk to our legislators…
- Healthcare: Even with the Affordable Care Act, two-thirds of all personal bankruptcies are due to medical bills, with 20% of those in the 55+ age group. 70% of Americans with medical bills had to cut their food expenses to avoid bankruptcy.Our students owe. A 2019 poll found 25% of Americans say they or a family member have delayed medical treatment for a serious illness due to the costs of care. 34 million Americans know of family member or friend who died in the last 5 tears after being unable to afford treatment.
- College: U.S. student loan debt totals $1.6 trillion as of March 31, 2021. 62% of students graduate with debt and the average U.S. household with student debt owes $57,520.
- Retirement: “The U.S. is on a path to a predictable and unfortunate outcome — millions of working Americans unable to meet their basic needs in retirement.” This is helped on by corporation replacing pensions with 401k’s or refusing benefits entirely.
- Welfare: Read and weep. “In comparing poverty in the U.S. to these OECD countries, we find that American poverty is both more prevalent and more extreme.”
- Parental leave: Among 41 countries, the U.S. is the only developed country that does not require employers to provide any paid leave to new parents, though some states, like R.I, and N.J. require it.
- Child care: Rich countries contribute an average of $14,000 per year for a toddler’s care, compared with $500 in the U.S. The Democrats’ spending bill tries to shrink the gap.
- Paid sick leave: The U.S. is the only developed country that does not guarentee paid sick leave in any capacity, though some states like NY and CA have statewide mandates.
Action: Call/email your legislators now! Pick a script to call or email!
Democrats are being forced to cater to the moderate and conservative Democrats in the House and Senate, and the current target range is around $2 trillion. Now they have to decide how to make $1.5 trillion in cuts.
- The “New Democrat Coalition,” advocates “doing a few things well, for longer,” by trimming the bill’s scope. Their priorities include: making permanent fixes to the Affordable Care Act and the expanded Child Tax Credit, addressing climate change, and seeing what’s left. This method allows longer-term investments on their top priorities, and make the bill easier to explain. Sen. Manchin, who Indivisible Ventura believes is, along with Sinema, the GOP’s Manchurian candidates to stop Democratic progress, has reportedly stated that we have to choose option between the Child Tax Credit, paid family and medical leave, child care and an expansion of Medicare to cover dental, hearing, and vision benefits. This short-circuits the entire care community infrastructure and we believe it will alienate voters who voted for this kind of transformational change.
- The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) wants to seed as many of the proposals as possible, for a shorter duration, and gamble that they’ll be renewed later on. They argue that everything in the $3.5 trillion vision is vital to a certain community, and that it wasn’t simply a “wish list.” Breaking down the bill means breaking down the coalition in support of it, and there is evidence that people feel betrayed. CPC chair, Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal stated “We are not going to pit child care against climate change. We’re not going to pit housing against paid leave. We’re not going to pit seniors against young people. The reality is these are transformational programs that different parts of our communities desperately need.” The CPC will deal with the reduced budget by immediately implementing all of these programs but “sunsetting” them—allowing them to expire—after a shorter number of years, so they appear to cost less over ten years.
Option #1 – Mini-script for calling: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Rep. [___] to fight with the Congressional Progressive Caucus for transformational change by passing an inclusive recovery through reconciliation, before voting on the bipartisan infrastructure bill. The recovery bill must lower prescription drug prices for all Americans, expand Medicare without copays, provides a path to citizenship, and includes generational investments in climate, housing, and the care economy – all while making the ultra rich and big corporations pay their fair share. This cannot take a back seat to an inadequate bipartisan bill.
Option #2 – Maxi-script for email:
I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Rep. [___] to fight with the Congressional Progressive Caucus for transformational change by passing an inclusive recovery through reconciliation, before voting on the bipartisan infrastructure bill. The recovery bill must lower prescription drug prices for all Americans, expand Medicare without copays, provides a path to citizenship, and includes generational investments in climate, housing, and the care economy – all while making the ultra rich and big corporations pay their fair share. This cannot take a back seat to an inadequate bipartisan bill.
Our tax dollars funded trillions on tax cuts and profits for billionaires and corporations and supported endless wars, with little for regular Americans to show for it but injured soldiers, ruined small businesses and financial instability. Now we demand you act to create legislation that centers us – the 99% – that’s taking our health, our education, our communities, along with our responsibilities to our children, our elders and our future generations seriously. A $3.5 million investment was a deal, not a burden, and we know that closing loopholes like the step-up tax will NOT harm small farms and family businesses. We’re watching carefully to see if [he/she] understands how important this is to us.
Here are the priorities that are important to me:
- Invest in a pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants;
- Citizenship for DACA recipients, TPS holders, and essential workers.
- Inclusion of all immigrants in the recovery package.
- Give us a pathway to accessible, dignified health care:
- Use medicare to negotiate drug prices, limit launch prices and tie prices to equivalents in peer countries. Ensure low-cost or free life-saving prescriptions available to all. No more insulin deaths!
- Expanding Medicare to cover vision, dental, and hearing.
- Lowering the eligibility age to 60 years old;
- Invest in our Climate, including a Clean Energy Standard (with NO FOSSIL FUEL SUBSIDIES!) and a Civilian Climate Corps;
- Invest in our Care Economy, including universal child care, child tax credits for millions of families,federally guaranteed paid leave for all, and creating good jobs in the home and community based-care sector;
- Invest in our housing, especially deeply affordable housing and housing for unhoused populations; and
- Invest in our good will. Pay for this package and address extreme wealth inequality at the same time – a two-fer! Taxing the ultra rich and big corporations so they finally pay their fair share.
- Fund the IRS so they can both effectively deliver emergency payments and take on wealthy tax cheats.
- Restore the inheritance tax basis used prior to the 2017 Tax Scam.
- Make millionaires and billionaires pay the same rate as everyone else into the Social Security trust fund and increase the income tax exemption on low-income recipients. Set the minimum level 25% above poverty level and tie it to a wage index so seniors don’t fall behind.
- Close the stepped-up basis loophole. Don’t let the GOP use family farm horror stories from the last century as an excuse. Not only has that not been true for decades, families who continue farming and small businesses are exempt from Biden’s plan.
- Rep. Julia Brownley (CA-26): email, DC (202) 225-5811, Oxnard (805) 379-1779, T.O. (805) 379-1779
- or Rep. Salud Carbajal (CA-24): email. DC (202) 225-3601, SB (805) 730-1710 SLO (805) 546-8348
- Who is my representative/senator?: https://whoismyrepresentative.com
Seriously, do they think we didn’t notice…
- Did they think we didn’t notice the GOP’s 2017 Tax Scam, which mostly benefited the wealthy and corporations, will cost us nearly $1.9 trillion over 10 years? (possibly up to $3 trillion through 2029)That it didn’t solve any of the problems regular American families face, such unaffordable child care and hospital bills, the high cost of education, decades-long wage stagnation and growing inequality?
- Did they think we didn’t notice that the GOP intends to cut our social safety net – Medicare and Social Security – to pay for their 2017 scam if and when they return to power?
- Do they think we don’t remember how the wealthy and corporations profited from the $4 trillion COVID bailout? (Seriously, we’re still pissed about this.)
- How the GOP snuck a $170 billion tax benefit into the 2020 CARES Act in which 82% of the benefits will go to just about 43,000 taxpayers, mostly hedge fund investors, or like our ex-president, a real estate business owners.
- How the wealthy and large corporation got first shot at the SBA loans. How more than half ($2.3 trillion) went to many businesses that weren’t required to show that they were impacted or keeping workers employed.
- How $651 billion in tax breaks didn’t stop companies from laying off workers – the Cheesecake Factory, for example, got a $50 million tax break and laid of 41,000 people.
- How $454 billion went to the Federal Reserve to stabilize markets, allowing companies like Wells Fargo, At&T and others to borrow at a lower lower rate, while still laying off workers.
- How corporations used their $670 billion Paycheck Protection Program for CEO packages, for stock buybacks, and for dividends and acquisitions, instead of protecting employees’ paychecks.
- Do you think we didn’t read that over 50 large corporation paid zero in taxes last year? That the nation’s 25 richest people paid only $13.6 billion in federal income taxes between 2014 and 2018, or about 16 percent of their reported income over that period — and a very, very small sliver of their wealth. A 16% tax rate is lower than the rate a single worker making $45,000 a year would pay, including Medicare and Social Security taxes.