Taking it to the streets for Tax Day

Tomorrow is Tax Day, and as usual that’ll bring people out onto the streets.

The Health and Human Services Network of California will have activists outside Post Office branches at 201 13th St. in Oakland at 3 p.m.; 1390 Market St. in San Francisco at noon; and more than a dozen other California cities to thank taxpayers while demanding that corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share. They’ll also be gathering signatures on petitions to put Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax measure – which would hike taxes on the wealthiest Californians while temporarily raising the sales tax rate by a quarter of a percent – on November’s ballot. At risk, they say, are vital needs such as food for hungry families, children’s health care, services for the elderly and disabled, and child care for working parents.

MoveOn.org activists will be preaching a similar sermon from 4 to 5 p.m. tomorrow at the Post Office at 20283 Santa Maria Ave. in Castro Valley. “Big corporations, like the Bank of America and Wells Fargo Bank, continue to get away with dodging taxes while their millionaire CEO’s get a fat tax refund every year, thanks to the Bush tax cuts,” said Dave Siegel, co-council coordinator for MoveOn’s Southern Alameda County Council. “It’s every American’s duty to pay their fair share in taxes – no exceptions!”

Though many procrastinate as Tax Day approaches, anti-tax Tea Party activists got their protests done early. They rallied Saturday in San Francisco’s Justin Herman Plaza and at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton, and Sunday in San Jose’s Plaza de Cesar Chavez, to reiterate that they’re “Taxed Enough Already.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • RR senile columnist

    Who gives a flyin craperoo about these losers playing the class war theme. It’s an old, worn-out tune Eugene Debs and his pals wrote in the 1890s.

  • Elwood

    You gotta love lunatic liberals.

    That’s how they get their jollies I guess.

  • JohnW

    It’s not about (or shouldn’t be about) class warfare, fair share, Buffet Rule or any of that rhetoric. It should be about economics and fiscal responsibility, which are interrelated.

    I’m not giving any gold stars to the Dems, but the GOP plan (Ryan plan embraced by Romney) is insane from a fiscal responsibility standpoint. Even though I said “fair share” should not be the central argument, it is useful to note what the Ryan plan would do in that regard.

    The concept is to broaden the tax base by getting rid of thus far unidentified tax expenditures (i.e., itemized deductions) and lower marginal rates by nearly 30% (from 35% to 25% at the top end). Low income people probably come out about even in that deal in terms of taxes but will lose out from cuts to services and entitlements. Upper middle income people lose out on the tax side, since they are the ones who tend to benefit most from things like the mortgage interest deduction. They will also be the most affected by “means testing” Medicare. Mega-income people make out the best. A CEO with $10 million of taxable salary income gets a million dollar tax cut, which is far greater than the effect of losing a $60k mortgage interest deduction on a maximum $1.1 million mortgage. They also get to keep the big breaks on investment income, including the absurd “carried interest” break. Meanwhile, we pile on an additional $4.6 Trillion in debt attributable to the proposed tax cuts.

    As for the “Buffet rule,” that’s a bit gimmicky for my taste. However, Reagan’s budget director, David Stockman, said Friday that it should be called the “Reagan Rule.” Under Reagan, when his tax cuts were in full effect, the top maximum tax rate was 28% on everything, including investment income. Ryan wants to keep the 15% rate on investment income and reduce the top rate on ordinary income to 25%, which is 11% lower than under Reagan.

    Bush’s tax cuts (2001 and 2003) were first justified on the notion that the Clinton surpluses were “our money” and should be returned to us, even though we ended up paying for the cuts with debt. Later, they were justified as a way to promote economic growth, even though they didn’t do that. The only economic and job growth we got was a few years of phony growth induced by the real estate “wealth effect” fever.