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Fairness is the Focus at Santa Cruz Tax Day Gathering
by Alex Darocy ( alex [at] alexdarocy.com )
Thursday Apr 19th, 2012 12:03 AM
On April 17, the day U.S. federal income tax returns were due, several dozen community members gathered at the steps of the courthouse in Santa Cruz to denounce the unfairness of tax collection and the subsequent injustices present in the allocation of government funds. Demonstrators asked why corporations and the 1% were not paying their fair share, and why so much money is currently being spent on the defense budget.
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Community members held signs displaying short messages whose overall meaning became "complete" when all were read as a group together. Songs were performed by the Raging Grannies and a short talk was given by Tereza Corraggio. The demonstration was organized by the Santa Cruz branch of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) as well as the local MoveOn council as part of a nationally coordinated effort on the part of MoveOn.org to organize "Tax the 1%" protests on tax day.

The event press release announced that the following questions and themes would be addressed at the demonstration:
*Taxes: we all pay them one way or another, but are they fair?
*We need them for many things, but do we like the fact that most of our tax money
goes to wars and the military?
*Why do the rich and the multicorporations get away with paying so little?
*Are the new tax initiatives that may be on our next ballot going to help or hurt us?

Local author Tereza Corraggio spoke, and began by noting that the way the tax system is written, "makes it so that the only things that are deductable, are things like helping out the banks." She went on to say, "I can write off all of my mortage interest...I can write off student loan debt....but if I want to use my money to help out my community, they make it so very complicated."

She then focused on military spending and its impact on the budget. In 2001, she said, the military budget was $310 billion under Bush, and Obama is currently proposing a budget of $525 billion, a 2.6% increase over this current year. Also, Republicans Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are suggesting it should be 60% higher. The federal money supply is $1.5 trillion, making military expenditures a third of the U.S. economy. Globally, spending for defense is $1.7 trillion, with the U.S. encompassing 43% of that.

Peace dividends, she said, are decreases in defense spending that are usually enacted after wars. Nixon lowered the military budget by 29% after Vietnam, and Reagan lowered it by 20% after the "end" of the Cold War. Corraggio pointed out, however, that the U.S. military budget now is still increasing after the troop withdrawls in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Corraggio sees these budgetary decisions as not reflecting the will of the citizenry. The majority of Democrats and Independents support decreasing military spending, she said, concluding, "we really need to move into being a post partisan society and stop letting them divide and conquer us. 51% of people in the country want to cut the military budget, only 28% want any cuts to medicare or medicaid."

She discussed several political strategies for achieving cuts in defense spending. The Arms Trade Treaty would lower defense spending, and Obama supports it, but it would take two thirds of the Senate to ratify it. She suggested the U.S. follow the lead of other global leaders such as Brazil's Lula de Silva who says tax armament sales could be used to help the poor. She also mentioned Oscar Arias, who speaks about the Costa Rica consensus, a plan based on that country not having had a standing army since 1948, and the saved money is put into social services.


For more information about the Santa Cruz branch of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), see:
http://www.wilpf.got.net/

For more info about author Tereza Corraggio, see:
http://thirdparadigm.org

256 gatherings for April 17 were listed as being planned on the MoveOn "Tax the 1%" protest event page, which is located at:
http://civic.moveon.org/event/events/index.html?action_id=272

The event announcement read as follows:

"Tax the 1% Protest
The tax code is rigged for the 1%. Not only do corporations like Bank of America get away with dodging taxes, the millionaire CEOs of these unpatriotic companies get a fat tax refund each year thanks to the Bush tax cuts. But we've had enough, and the 99% is fighting back to make millionaires and corporations pay their fair share.
As millions of people file their taxes on Tax Day, April 17, we're organizing "Tax the 1%" protests to express our outrage that the rich and corporations aren't paying their fair share to help rebuild the economy.
We'll march, rally, and protest at big, tax-dodging banks and corporations and throughout our communities to highlight the disparity in the tax code for the 99% compared to the 1%.
Taxing the 1% is the quickest way to rebuild our economy so that it works for all of us—sign up for an event near you or organize your own by clicking here."


Alex Darocy
http://alexdarocy.blogspot.com/
§It's Tax Day! Do you know what your money is doing?
by Alex Darocy Thursday Apr 19th, 2012 12:03 AM
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§Make Taxes Fair
by Alex Darocy Thursday Apr 19th, 2012 12:03 AM
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§They Tax For War....
by Alex Darocy Thursday Apr 19th, 2012 12:03 AM
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They Tax For War
But Not For Peace
No Wonder Wars
Will Never Cease
§Taxes For Schools
by Alex Darocy Thursday Apr 19th, 2012 12:03 AM
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Taxes For Schools
Make Better Scholars
Taxes For War
Are Devil's Dollars
§Make Better Scholars
by Alex Darocy Thursday Apr 19th, 2012 12:03 AM
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tax-day-santa-cruz-april-...

Taxes For Schools
Make Better Scholars
Taxes For War
Are Devil's Dollars
§Taxes For War
by Alex Darocy Thursday Apr 19th, 2012 12:03 AM
tax-day-santa-cruz-april-17-2012-7.jpg
tax-day-santa-cruz-april-...

Taxes For Schools
Make Better Scholars
Taxes For War
Are Devil's Dollars
§Are Devil's Dollars
by Alex Darocy Thursday Apr 19th, 2012 12:03 AM
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tax-day-santa-cruz-april-...

Taxes For Schools
Make Better Scholars
Taxes For War
Are Devil's Dollars
§Raging Grannies
by Alex Darocy Thursday Apr 19th, 2012 12:03 AM
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§Raging Grannies
by Alex Darocy Thursday Apr 19th, 2012 12:03 AM
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§Tax Pie 2012
by Alex Darocy Thursday Apr 19th, 2012 12:03 AM
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47% Military
39% Human Resources
8% General Government
6% Physical Resources
§
by Alex Darocy Thursday Apr 19th, 2012 12:03 AM
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§Invest in Santa Cruz, Bank Local
by Alex Darocy Thursday Apr 19th, 2012 12:03 AM
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Thank You Taxpayers for Waste Water Treatment, For Clean Water
Invest in Santa Cruz, Bank Local
§Occupy Santa Cruz
by Alex Darocy Thursday Apr 19th, 2012 12:03 AM
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Occupy Santa Cruz tabled at the event.
§No More War
by Alex Darocy Thursday Apr 19th, 2012 12:03 AM
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§Tereza Corraggio
by Alex Darocy Thursday Apr 19th, 2012 12:03 AM
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§
by Alex Darocy Thursday Apr 19th, 2012 12:03 AM
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§
by Alex Darocy Thursday Apr 19th, 2012 12:03 AM
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§Chevron Pays No Ca Taxes
by Alex Darocy Thursday Apr 19th, 2012 12:03 AM
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§Frackin and Drillin are Planet Killin
by Alex Darocy Thursday Apr 19th, 2012 12:03 AM
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Tax Oil Extraction - It's Time For Action
Frackin and Drillin are Planet Killin
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Raging Grannies!GThursday Apr 19th, 2012 11:04 AM