Tax Day Protesters Call on Congress to Be Fair to 99%

by Chris Fleming  |  April 19, 2012

At a rally in Sacramento, Calif., working families call on Rep. Dan Lungren to raise taxes on the wealthy and keep his hands off Medicare. (Photo by Erick Sanchez)

Just a day after the U.S. Senate failed to pass the Buffett Rule, which would have asked the ultra-wealthy to pay a more fair tax rate, hundreds of working families nationwide chastised Congress for siding with the 1 percent. 

In Sacramento, “patriotic millionaires” joined AFSCME members in telling Rep. Dan Lungren to keep his hands off Medicare when trying to make up for the taxes not coming in from the wealthy. They rallied, then mailed their legislators from a local post office.

Tax Day dodgeball came to Syracuse, where teams representing the 99% and the 1 percent vied in a tournament.  

“Public employees across New York go to work every day and see firsthand the benefits of the vital services they provide to the communities where they live,” said Steve Barnum, president of AFSCME Council 66 Local 400, Syracuse Department of Public Works. “Unfortunately, due to the misguided policies, such as those in the (Rep. Paul) Ryan Budget, the ultra-rich in New York State are getting tax cuts rather than being asked to pay their fair share – and the rest of us face continual cuts to vital services.” 

The 99% also rallied in the Mid-Hudson Valley, calling upon Rep. Nan Hayworth to support President Obama’s Buffett Rule and make corporations and millionaires pay more equitable taxes.

Local union leaders and activists in Pueblo, Colo., call on Congress to fight for the working class. (Photo by Daneya Esgar)

Nurses, faith leaders and community members held a press conference in Little Rock, Ark., in front the North Little Rock Veterans Affairs Hospital, to highlight Rep. Tim Griffin’s support of tax breaks for the rich at the expense of veterans and working families.

In Colorado, AFSCME and its allies hosted a series of tax day actions, including one in Pueblo where local union leaders and activists called on Congress to fight for the working class. 

In Iowa, AFSCME members and other advocacy groups demanded lawmakers reopen the Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) office shuttered under Gov. Terry Branstad’s plan to replace the office personnel with phone banks and computer kiosks. (Branstad’s plan was scrapped shortly after State Sen. Bill Dotzler made a passionate speech urging its reopening.)

They also protested Rep. Steve King, sending him a message to vote to increase taxes on wealthy individuals and corporations, not the 99%.

“Tax Day is the perfect day to show that regular, middle-class Iowans are getting shafted,” said Daniel Noonan, an AFSCME member and former employee of the closed IWD office in Ames.

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