Former guest and friend of the show Brooke Hines: “Once again, this Congress has prioritized Wall Street at the expense of Main Street””

Posted: 2013/12/11 by Punkonomics (@dearbalak) in Links/Articles/Video
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http://www.cbafl.com/press_release_budget_agreement_is_a_missed_opportunity_that_should_have_closed_tax_loopholes

PRESS RELEASE: Budget Agreement is a Missed Opportunity That Should Have Closed Tax Loopholes

Posted by Brook Hines 594pc on December 11, 2013

Community Business Association, state partner of Americans for Tax Fairness, joins a coalition of Florida consumer and faith-based organizations to deliver a letter to Senator Bill Nelson Thursday voicing disappointment in the proposed budget deal, and advocating for further consideration of the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act. Florida Consumer Action Network, American Federation of State, City and Municipal Employees, Florida AFL-CIO, Florida Council of Churches, and PICO are delivering similar messages throughout Florida.

“Once again, this Congress has prioritized Wall Street at the expense of Main Street,” said Brook Hines, Director for Community Business Association.

“This deal protects corporate abuse of offshore tax havens while penalizing federal employees’ wages and pensions. Worse, Wall Street hedge fund managers will continue to enjoy special tax breaks while we’re canceling unemployment insurance for the millions of Americans losing benefits a week after Christmas. As these actions hurt the pocketbooks of consumers this is a bad deal for small business and the consumer demand they depend on,” said Hines.

Fifteen local businesses signed-on to the letter which urges Sen. Nelson to sign-on to the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act (S. 1533). A similar bill in the House, called Sequester Delay and Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act (HR. 3666) has also been filed. Both bills would raise up to $220 billion over 10 years – enough to fully replace the automatic spending cuts scheduled for the next two-and-a-half years.

Local small business leader Fred Barr is disappointed that Congress failed to close even one wasteful corporate tax loophole. “Many politicians like to say they want to run government like a business. Let me tell you, if you’re not raising revenue, you’re not running a business for long,” said the owner of Barr Creative Services. “Small business owners like myself know we must raise revenue toinvest for growth. We know the tradeoffs here. It’s madness to just give away money in the form of tax breaks while so many necessary investments have gone un-done for so long.”

Recent polling by Hart Research Associates demonstrates that the public would have been in favor of including such tax measures in the budget agreement. By 50% to 34%, voters want to “cancel the [$110 billion in] spending cuts and replace them with new tax revenue from the wealthy and corporations,” rather than “Allow the full spending cuts to take effect.”

According to a report released by the Economic Policy Institute and AFSCME, closing tax loopholes would create 12,915 jobs in Florida through 2016. With revenues relative to historical levels, these loopholes send the wrong message while presenting opportunities for tax evasion, and creating perverse incentives for overleveraging, offshoring of corporate profits.

“Is this budget deal a step in the right direction?” said Hines, “Yes, it’s better than nothing. It scales back the automatic cuts that would have been painful for Floridians, and protects Social Security. But the agreement would be far better if it closed tax loopholes for corporations and the wealthy. The American people strongly support such measures and Congress needs to act.”

 

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