Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ) has joined forces with a broad coalition of organizations called Rebuild and Renew America Now (RRAN) to promote a simple message: Congress has a whole lot of options to raise revenue to pay for health care reform and other initiatives without unfairly impacting low- or middle-income people and without harming the economy.
These progressive revenue options include both the tax changes included in President Obama's fiscal year 2010 budget proposals as well as additional options formulated in a recent report by CTJ and endorsed by Health Care for America Now (HCAN) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). (See CTJ's report on the President's tax proposals and CTJ's report on additional revenue options to fund health care reform.)
RRAN is a coalition that engaged in education, communications and lobbying efforts in support of the President's budget and other progressive initiatives earlier this year and has mobilized advocates and activists all over the country. Many of the organizations involved are usually focused on particular public services or progressive reforms, but have realized that all public services and reforms are in danger if Congress can't bring itself to raise the revenue needed to pay for them.
RRAN has invited organizations (both national organizations and state organizations) to sign onto its two-page statement of principles for this new campaign for progressive revenue options. Signing does not commit an organization to do anything (although all are also encouraged to become active in RRAN's activities) but simply states support for efforts to pay for initiatives in progressive ways. Anyone who is authorized to sign on behalf of an organization can visit the website of the Coalition on Human Needs (CHN) or simply click here.
The statement lists three broad principles to guide Congress's efforts to find revenue:
1. Adequacy. The federal tax system should raise sufficient revenue over time to meet our shared priorities and invest in our common future.
2. Fairness. Tax preferences that overwhelmingly benefit the wealthy and corporations should be eliminated, and individuals and businesses should contribute their fair share of taxes, based on ability to pay.
3. Responsibility. We should not saddle future generations with unsustainable levels of debt.
The statement also lists examples of the kinds of tax policies RRAN supports:
- raising revenues from upper-income households;
- assessing a significant tax on large estates;
- reducing abuses among corporations and individuals who shelter income in offshore tax evasion or avoidance schemes;
- closing financial industry, oil and gas, and other inefficient corporate loopholes; and
- reducing tax preferences for unearned as opposed to earned income.
For more information in the coming days, visit RRAN's website: www.rebuildandrenew.org