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Patriots Rally at Grover's Place — Congress Should Pledge Allegiance to our Nation, Not to One Man

by Will Rice, Coffee Party Commonwealth

You usually can’t reverse a bad decision by simply doing nothing, but that’s exactly the opportunity we have at the end of this year.

That’s when the tax cuts for wealthy Americans passed in the early years of the Bush administration are set to expire. We should allow nature to take its course.

In 2001 and 2003, President Bush and the Republican-controlled Congress passed two big tax-cut bills. Though taxes were lowered across the board, the bulk of the benefits went to the wealthiest American households.

Among the breaks that principally served higher-end taxpayers were reductions in rates paid on passive income like dividends and capital gains. It’s those breaks that allow billionaire Warren Buffett to pay a lower tax rate than his secretary, and Mitt Romney — the $200 Million Man — to pay less than 15 percent federal tax on his income.

The world has changed since the early Bush years. But even then, it was understood what a devastating effect losing so much revenue would have on our national budget.

Stand up to Grover Norquist!

Tax Day, Tues. April 17, 2012, 12 noon
Grover Norquist’s Office
722 12th Street, NW
Washington, DC 
More info:

So the cuts were made temporary: after 2010, rates were scheduled to return to their original levels. But as 2010 came to a close, congressional Republicans refused to extend middle-class tax cuts and unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless unless the high-end cuts were extended. President Obama negotiated a two-year deal; we reach that extended deadline at the end of this year.

When the first big tax cut for the wealthy was passed, in 2001, the federal government was awash in cash: we were running surpluses as far as the eye could see and steadily paying down our debt.

While the prudent thing would have been to divide those surpluses among middle-class tax cuts, smart public investments in roads and schools, and further debt reduction, instead they were spent entirely on tax cuts tilted toward the wealthy.

And even though our fiscal situation was drastically different two years later — we were by then involved in two costly wars — still more breaks for the wealthiest taxpayers were passed.

It’s clear we couldn’t afford these cuts, but did they at least give us the economic expansion and job creation we were promised?

No. Growth in household income and employment were anemic in the years that followed the Bush cuts — even before the Great Recession hit in 2008. The economy did much better in the 1990s, a decade that began with increases in the taxes paid by the wealthy.

Turns out, the wealthy already have more than enough money: even as the broader economy struggles, sales of luxury goods are booming. And the companies wealthy people invest in are sitting on record amounts of cash.

What America needs is more targeted public investment to get our economy moving : in education, transportation, communications, research. We also need to get our fiscal house in order.

Extending the upper-income tax cuts impairs both those efforts. It’s estimated that extending the cuts for the wealthy will cost a trillion dollars over the next decade, ensuring either higher deficits or impoverished public investments.

Let’s by all means extend the tax cuts benefiting families making less than $250,000 a year — which covers 98 percent of American households. But for the sake of our economy, tax giveaways to those making more than that should expire on schedule.

Tues. 12 noon: Spend a Part of Tax Day with Grover Norquist and Corporate-Spy-Turned-Fairness-Crusader Will Rice

On the campaign trail and in the halls of Congress, the tax fairness debate is heating up this spring. 

The choices are stark: do we inconvenience billionaires with slightly higher rates, or end nursing home care for millions of seniors?  Do we maintain tax breaks for the wealthy passed in the peace, prosperity and surpluses of 2001, or do we allow more equitable rates to return, providing needed revenue for deficit reduction and public investment in economic growth?  Who should pay a higher tax rate: a Wall Street financier shuffling money, or an emergency room nurse saving lives?

Want in on the action? Then join the Coffee Party Commonwealth project and 20 other groups this Tax Day, April 17, at noon to celebrate the patriotic duty of contributing to our nation’s strength through the tax system—and protest those who rig that system in favor of the wealthy and powerful, and against average Americans.

We’re gathering in downtown Washington (722 H Street, NW; half a block from Metro Center) outside the offices of the man who has for the past 25 years been more responsible than any other private individual for unfair taxes, underfunded public investments, and unsuccessful government. He’s Grover Norquist, the author and enforcer of an infamous “pledge” signed by half of Congress to never raise revenues under any circumstances, even in the face of war and other national calamity.

This pledge conflicts openly with the only oath an officeholder should take seriously—her oath of office—because in forbidding honorable negotiation and reasonable compromise, it makes effective legislating impossible. The multiple budget crises and resulting downgrade of America’s credit rating last year can be traced directly to Norquist’s stranglehold pledge.

So go to Grover’s on Tax Day, and tell him what you think of his pledge and his fondness for unfair taxes. Bring your sign, bring your voice, bring your outrage!

A certain amount of singing is guaranteed!

For more information, call 202-785-5980 or visit stopthepledge.org

Will Rice & Coffee Party Commonwealth

More about Grover Norquist Pledge / Tax Day Rally:

You may be surprised, considering how I spent Tax Day last year, that I have decided to take on the most powerful Rich Man's Lobbyist in U.S. history.

The American Taxpayer is fighting back on Tuesday April 17 in Washington DC, and I'm proud to say I've been working hard to help to plan the event.  If you live in or near the Washington, D.C., area, you can make an important statement on April 17. 

Stand up to Grover Norquist!

Tax Day, Tues. April 17, 2012, 12 noon
Grover Norquist’s Office
722 12th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005

Who’s Grover Norquist? He’s the Washington lobbyist more responsible than any other for our out-of-whack tax system, the impoverishment of our public goods and services, and federal budget gridlock.

For the past quarter century, he’s made it his life’s mission to enshrine inequality in the tax code; to make sure Wall Street One Percenters never pay their fair share; to guarantee that one side of the budget equation—the revenue side—is untouchable…except to provide more tax breaks for wealthy individuals and profitable corporations. 

How does he do it? Through a notorious “pledge” that one half of Congress has by now signed—a pledge that forces members to violate their oath of office by putting special interests above the interests of their constituents and the good of the country.

Members of Congress Need to Fulfill Their Pledge to America; Not to the Norquist Rich Man's Crusade

On April 17, a coalition of groups including Coffee Party USA will gather outside Norquist’s offices in downtown Washington to “Stop the Pledge.”  They’ll hear from wealthy individuals who want taxes on themselves and those like them to be raised to pay for public investments that bolster the middle class, and from hard-working professionals like nurses, who pay taxes at higher rates than billionaire Wall Street bankers.

And they’ll take their own pledge: a pledge to work for true tax reform. For a system that taxes wealth the same as work. That forces profitable, multinational corporations pay their fair share. That creates a tax system that serves American needs and reflects American values.

Won’t you join us? Click here for more information. On April 17, bring your voice, bring your sign, bring your outrage…to Grover’s, on Tax Day.


PS:  Last year I was a staunch advocate for Corporate-Person American Equality, as you can see from the video below. But now Grover Norquist has gone to far.  If the super-wealthy and multi-national corporations extract ALL the resources from America, there won't be anything left for us to plunder.  That's why I support tax fairness even though I still believe in Corporate-Person American rights.

Spy infiltrates Tax Day event at Maryland Bank of America

Video has surfaced of the infiltration of a "Tax Day Make the Pay" event by a pro-corporate counter-protester. Will Rice, of Washington DC slipped into a Columbia, MD protest and then unveiled pro-Bank of America signs.


PRLog (Press Release)Apr 21, 2011 – Columbia, MD —   A lone counter-protester mounted a miraculously successful infiltration of a "Tax Day Make Them Pay" event in Columbia, Maryland on April 18 targeting Bank of America.  Organizers of the event expressed outrage that three local newspapers who reported on the event spent the majority of their time interviewing William Rice of Washington DC, even though he was the only person at a protest of nearly 300 people who supported the tax practices of Bank of America. [MORE]

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