Crashing "Tax Prom"

The very same evening  that the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass its cruel and morally backward tax giveaway plan that will slash Medicaid, Medicare, education, and more in order to hand out massive tax cuts to the very wealthy and profitable corporations, some of the nation’s most successful tax dodgers partied away with Vice President Pence at the Tax Foundation’s “Tax Prom.”

The Tax Prom sponsors include Pfizer, Merck, ExxonMobil, Dow, Caterpillar and other huge multinational corporations that stand to benefit handsomely from the tax legislation since according to research by the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy, just the listed event sponsors collectively hold around $800 billion in tax haven subsidiaries. This means that, unlike you or me, these profitable corporations have been able to indefinitely put off paying taxes on those profits stashed away in businesses incorporated in low or no tax countries—the sort of scheme chronicled in the recent “Paradise Papers” exposé. Under the just-passed House plan, instead of making companies pay what they owe on these “deferred taxes,” these tax dodging multinational corporations will be rewarded with a huge tax break, only having to pay either 14 or 7 percent on those profits instead of the 35 that should be due. Worse, moving forward, some of these huge corporations will never have to pay any tax, ever on some of the profits that are booked to their foreign subsidiaries.

As many of the same companies were partying the night away, celebrating their House vote victory with Pence, other lawmakers, and the usual army of industry lobbyists, we pointed out in a Tweet that companies like Dow paid $10,000 or more to sponsor the event, yet have billions booked offshore and stand to benefit richly from the Trump tax scam. Dow accidentally (we assume) “liked” it. This is how we responded:

And, it’s no coincidence that the Tax Foundation who sponsored the “Tax Prom” is the very same conservative think tank whose growth figures are frequently cited by Republicans to say tax cuts will magically trickle down to workers (when history has proven that to be a failure.)While the corporate big wigs were inside wining and dining with the Vice President (who, we must point out does have a much exercised voting role in the Senate) we were outside demonstrating that the power of the people can never be stopped.

Even with the fun moments at the protest like our very own Monopoly Man (Amanda Werner, Public Citizen and Americans for Financial Reform) getting crowned Prom King, there were serious times too. For example, Bill Snape from the Center for Biological Diversity spoke on how this tax bill is an affront to our environment and goes the wrong way on addressing climate change by subsidizing fossil fuels instead of clean, renewable energy and paving the way to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

David Lipschutz from the Center for Medicare Advocacy spoke truth to power about how vital affordable health care is to the most vulnerable in our society and how wrong it is to provide tax giveaways to the wealthy paid for by cutting programs people need to survive—like Medicare. And, Kelly Cuvar told her moving story about how she’s been fighting her brave battle against cancer for the past 19 years and how she has relied on Medicaid in the past when she’s been too sick to work. With 13 million more people expected to be uninsured under the Senate tax plan’s overturning of a key element of Obamacare, it’s even more imperative than ever that we kill the bill. Lives are literally at stake.

The M.C. of the “People’s Prom,” Rob Weissman, president of Public Citizen, took the protest “analog” with the bullhorn and led the protestors in marching and chants next to the VIP entrance to show the corporate donor class that when working families are under attack, they STAND UP AND FIGHT BACK!

Debbie Weinstein, from the Coalition on Human Needs ended the protest by bringing the message home that our nation’s tax policy should be about meeting the needs of kids and families who are struggling to make ends meet and giving folks a hand up when they’re down instead of showering tax giveaways on those in our society who need it least.

For those who have bought into the many Koch-funded ads blanketing the networks, and somehow believe this plan is aimed to benefit working Americans and not the billionaire donor class, the proof is in the pudding: the meager crumbs the GOP throws to the middle class individuals in the Senate version of the tax scam bill expire, while the corporate tax cuts are permanent.

The bottom line: we can still stop this bill, but we’re running out of time. The Senate plans to vote THE WEEK AFTER THANKSGIVING. So, while we’re stuffing ourselves over this week, the rich and corporations will be counting the money that will be soon be stuffing their pockets.

But, just like the power of We the People killed previous attempts to repeal of the Affordable Care Act, we can kill this bill too! Not only will we be saving the ACA yet again, we’ll be keeping billionaires and profitable corporations from getting a huge tax windfall at the expense of working Americans.

But, we can’t do it without YOU!

Please join an event in your state this week to say “NO THANKS” when it comes to this turkey of a tax plan. And, it only takes a minute to call the district office of your senator to say “As your constituent, I urge you to vote no on the tax bill that will kick Americans off health care and slash funding for Medicare, Medicaid, education, and more just to give tax handouts to the super wealthy and corporations.”

There’s only one thing that can save this terrible bill from becoming law: it’s hometown pressure, so let’s make the senate feel the heat this week! Because if this tax bill passes, it’s working families that will be left out in the cold.