UFE hosts Tax Week conversations coast-to-coast!

What did April 15th mean to you? Well, it was Tax Day, for one thing—and though it may, for many, represent the very ordinary American ritual of (reluctantly) handing your hard-earned income over to the government, for us at United for a Fair Economy, it’s an opportunity. Very simply, it’s an opportunity to talk about why taxes (and the critical public sector for which they provide a foundation and ongoing sustenance) are important.

This year, as in many other years of UFE’s nearly 20-year history, we seized this opportunity! Across the country in 15 different locations (as recently as last Wednesday), hundreds of UFE friends and supporters gathered at private homes, community centers, churches, bookstores, and libraries to screen Robert Reich’s acclaimed film about rising inequality, Inequality For All, and have a conversation about fair taxation, rising inequality, and what we, together, can do about it.

The provocative (at times funny, at times sad) film explains the current state of economic inequality in the US and tells the story of how we got where we are today—and what will happen tomorrow if rising inequality is left unchecked. It’s a powerful 90 minutes of history and storytelling about the collapse of the American middle class and the rise of the super-rich.

After the screening, those in attendance shared what they found most striking about the film, and what they did—or didn’t—have in common with the people whose stories are featured in the film. And so dozens of people shared their unique experiences with the issue of rising inequality in America, and here’s what we discovered: we’re all effected by inequality—indeed, inequality hurts of all us, regardless of how much we make or how much we have in the bank.

This is the message at the core of United for a Fair Economy’s work. It’s the glue that makes the partnership of UFE and its supporters real and so critically important.

With the public sector under assault from well-funded, right-wing ideologues, unleashed by recent Supreme Court decisions (Citizens United and, most recently, McCutcheon), it’s the right time to be talking about why taxes are important. Even in the wake of January’s (quite uncommon) congressional compromise on the budget, House Republicans remain bent on gutting the public sector. They demonize Democrats for making future generations pay for “reckless” government spending today, but what kind of nation are we leaving our children when we decide, today, that we’re no longer going to invest in public education, scientific research and technological innovation, infrastructure and transportation for tomorrow?

With Tax Day 2014 behind us—and these coast-to-coast gatherings, too—we’d like to thank our gracious hosts for opening up their home and other spaces to host these important conversations in an important moment in our history. THANK YOU!

And if you yourself would like to host a screening and gathering at your home, community center, church, or place of business, let us know! We’d be happy to help you get some fellow UFE supporters together in your neighborhood, too!

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