Call to Action – US Uncut, Washington DC Chapter

Posted on February 16, 2011 by | 8 Comments

US Uncut DC logo

Call to Action
US Uncut, DC Chapter
February 15, 2011

US Uncut DC is calling on you to join a series of protests that link the avoidance of taxes by US corporations and banks to the proposed service cuts and pay freezes threatening Americans

* The first protest will be on Saturday, February 26th 2011 in conjunction with our sisters and brothers around the world as part of an international day of action.

* The Washington DC protest will be held somewhere in the Dupont Circle / Farragut North area. Time and location to be announced.

* If you would like more info or if your organization would like to endorse this call to action, please email: USuncutDC@gmail.com

* Follow us on twitter @USuncutDC and facebook.

The “progressive tea party” has been born. 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.

See you on the streets!

US Uncut DC Team

This call to action is also available as a PDF.

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Comments

8 Responses to “Call to Action – US Uncut, Washington DC Chapter”

  1. ShenanigansNo Gravatar
    February 16th, 2011 @ 7:44 pm

    I am not a Tea Partier and many of my views are antithetical to its values, but I do think that negative references to any other grassroots movements is counterproductive. UK Uncut never acted this way to my knowledge, and it has gotten good press in the conservative media. You could be turning off half your potential base with this kind of language.

    After all, Tea Party members have to pay taxes too, and one could say that Uncut echoes its criticism of the bank bailouts. And the issue of corporate tax avoidance isn’t a political one – neither Democrats or Republicans have done much to tame the dodgy practices of their donors. It’s not a traditional political issue and we shouldn’t frame it as such.

  2. Gary DunionNo Gravatar
    February 16th, 2011 @ 7:50 pm

    I don’t know that US Uncut DC are making negative reference to the Tea Party by describing the Uncut movement as a “progressive tea party”.

    The worst you could say is that that language implies that the Tea Party is conservative – I don’t think most Tea Party supporters would have a huge problem with that description.

    That is not to say that this is necessarily a totally polarised situation, though. It strikes me as very likely that there are active Tea Party supporters who are motivated by anger at the banks making off with a multi-billion bailout and contributing nothing in return. Such people can and should support US Uncut too.

  3. ShenanigansNo Gravatar
    February 16th, 2011 @ 8:02 pm

    Forgot to say good luck with everything! Watching eagerly from London.

  4. GrantNo Gravatar
    February 16th, 2011 @ 10:07 pm

    I would like to get in touch with any Portland, Oregon people out there, interested in organizing a chapter. Lets keep this growing.

  5. Gary DunionNo Gravatar
    February 16th, 2011 @ 10:12 pm

    Hi Grant, there’s a Portland event page for the 26th on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=182887098415650

    Good luck!

  6. US Uncut DCNo Gravatar
    February 17th, 2011 @ 3:43 am

    First let us thank Bright Green Scotland once again for posting our call to action. Second, to address Shenanigans comment: The “progressive tea party” line was simply a reference to the Johann Hari article in the Nation that really introduced the UKuncut idea to many of us over here in the states. It was in no way meant to be a “negative” reference to the tea party. We make no judgments as to any other group’s ideas or methods. As you and Gary point out, we would sincerely hope that all Americans, regardless of political affiliation, will be as outraged as we are when they find out that while they have been diligently paying their taxes year in and year out, huge corporations have been evading paying American taxes by paying billions of dollars in taxes to hundreds of other countries because they have lower tax rates, and as a result their local police and fire departments are being slashed, their children’s teachers are being laid-off, and their friends and neighbors are being thrown out of their houses onto the streets. We believe many Americans will find that, well decidedly un-American.

  7. Lewis MacKenzieNo Gravatar
    February 18th, 2011 @ 3:16 am

    Great to see this happening, and agree with the above sentiment that this is not a left/right issue: it’s an issue of justice and fairness for all. Good luck, and solidarity from across the pond in Scotland.

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