'We need a public healthcare option - tax us more,' say some wealthy Americans

"Households with incomes over $250,000 have saved more than $700 billion from the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003. The proposed graduated surtax under the House Ways and Means Committee’s healthcare plan would take back $544 billion over the next 10 years, providing about half the cost of the entire plan, calculates the Joint Economic Committee of Congress."

Read the full article in the Christian Science Monitor

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Massachusetts Sales Tax Increase

On August 1, 2009, Massachusetts increased its sales tax from 5 percent to 6.25 percent to address a severe budget deficit. United for a Fair Economy believes that raising the sales tax was clearly preferable to slashing the budgets of vital public services. However, UFE is disappointed that the Massachusetts Legislature did not raise revenue through progressive sources such as the capital gains tax, the state estate tax, or the personal income tax.

The sales tax is the state’s most regressive major tax, meaning that low- and middle-income people pay a much higher percentage of their income towards it than wealthy people do. The overall Massachusetts tax system was regressive prior to the increase in the sales tax. Rather than raising needed revenue AND making the tax system more fair and progressive, the Massachusetts Legislature just made that system more burdensome for low and middle income families.


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Oregon Governor Signs Upper-income Tax Increase Package

"Passed by the Democratic-led Oregon Legislature, one measure raises personal income taxes for individuals with taxable incomes of $125,000 a year or joint filers at more than $250,000. A separate measure raises corporate income taxes."

Read the full article by Brad Cain on Forbes.com.

Learn more about the work of Tax Fairness Oregon.

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Hypocrisy at the NAACP 100th Anniversary Celebration?

Alex Cane cites UFE's 2008 State of the Dream report, Foreclosed, in this critique.

Read the full article on Indypendent.com

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Perverse Incentives (Blog)

"Corporate excess isn’t isolated within the confines of the boardroom; it’s enmeshed with institutions that keep wealth concentrated within an ever-shrinking minority. Whether they’re passing resolutions or marching on Wall Street, activists won’t dismantle inequality without pushing to comprehensively restructure the way the country’s resources are distributed."

Read the full article by Michelle Chen on InTheseTimes.com

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Mind the Gap (Op-ed)

"CEO pay has grown out of control over the past couple decades.  What will it take to get Pandora back in the box?  Transparency is a start.  The right of shareholders to vote on pay is a good next step.  But what we ultimately need is a wholesale transformation in the make-up and thinking of boards and compensation committees."

Read the full article by Mike Lapham, Responsible Wealth Project Director, in The Durango Herald.

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Taxes and the Wisdom of Our Forebears (Op-ed)

"If our elected officials are serious about strengthening the middle class and fostering a more broadly shared prosperity, let them take a moment to consider the wisdom of our forebears."

Read the full article by Brian Miller in the Williston Observer.

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July E-News


July 2009:

- Financial Regulation: Which Way is Forward?

- Special Offer to UFE Members from YES! Magazine

- Taxes: A State Budget's Best Friend

- Pope Benedict XVI Calls for a New Economy




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New Hampshire Budget Rejects Taxes on the Wealthy

New Hampshire lawmakers missed a chance to reduce economic inequality while closing the state's $190 million budget deficit.  The NH House and Senate have passed a budget that rejects both a tax on capital gains and a state estate tax.

Read more in this editorial from the Concord Monitor.

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Activist Investors Want "Say On Pay"

"The Obama administration received plenty of attention in the past few days for pushing legislation that would require public companies to run their top executive pay packages by shareholders each year. [...] When President Obama finally signs this bill, he'll have some energetic watchdogs in Boston to thank for its success."

Read more in this article by John Chesto.

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