Tax reform: The First Step Toward Income Equality

Wednesday night, my colleague Susan Harley and I hosted Congress Watch’s first webinar of 2014!

During the presentation, we introduced some of Public Citizen’s tax policy priorities for the coming year and detailed how these policies can help to create a more equitable economy.

Check out a recording of the presentation here:

Two of our biggest priorities for the coming year will be growing revenue by shutting down international tax havens and closing other corporate tax loopholes.

We highlighted a new piece of legislation introduced just this week by Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas). His bill, the Stop Subsidizing Multi-Million Dollar Corporate Bonuses Act (H.R. 3970), would close a loophole that allows corporations to deduct “performance-based pay” of more than $1 million dollars from their taxes.

This loophole is big enough to fly a corporate jet through, as we showed in our recent report, Thanks a Billion (or so). To put it in perspective, over the past 10 years this loophole has cost taxpayers an estimated $50 billion (or so).

So on Wednesday we asked activists to send personalized email messages to their own representatives asking them to co-sponsor Rep. Doggett’s bill.

Why personalized emails?

Taking a little bit of time to write a unique email to your member of Congress is a small but mighty action that packs a big punch on Capitol Hill.  They want to hear why you support or oppose legislation. That’s why we always make sure you can edit any message you send through a Public Citizen action page.

For the skeptics, in a survey of congressional staffers, 88 percent of respondents said that a personalized email would have an impact on undecided representative or senator. Even better, 19 percent said those types of emails would have a significant impact on undecided members of Congress.

If you’re looking for more factoids from the presentation you can download a PDF version of our PowerPoint.

Keep a look out for the next online conversation; we’re aiming to host one of them on the last Wednesday of every month. That way, we can always keep you well informed on the latest pieces of Public Citizen’s work and bring you timely actions that can make a big difference.

Stay tuned, it’s going to be an exciting year!

Take Action: Write a personalized email to your representative asking him or her to co-sponsor the Stop Subsidizing Multi-Million Dollar Corporate Bonuses Act.

Kelly Ngo is the Online Advocacy Organizer for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division.