Published: April 2015

Deciding what’s “fair” when reforming tax laws

Coalition: Americans for Financail Reform (AFR)

As the Senate Finance Committee considers reform policies to the nation’s tax code, including ways to lower the corporate tax rate of 35%, coalition advocates, including Consumer Action, remind legislators of the implications taxes have on retirement savers, the middle-class and low-wage earners who cannot afford to pay more.

1986 was the last time Congress was successful in overhauling our nation’s tax system. Now, almost 30 years later, Congress attempts to tackle the issue again. The Senate Finance Committee has launched working groups that are accepting public and stakeholder comments on how to fix the broken tax code.

In a letter to the committee, coalition advocates remind legislators that key to progressive, or “fair,” taxation is placing the greatest obligation of for taxes on those who can most afford it. In this case, corporations and the financial sector are disproportionately undertaxed on their record-breaking profits in comparison to  middle class, low-wage earners and those making long-term investments, like pensioners and retirement savers.

Any possible changes to the tax code should meet the criteria of fairness while raising significant revenue. Advocates recommend several specific changes, including reforming high-frequency trading polices that often hurt smaller investors, like those saving for their retirement. Advocates also recommend implementing a Wall Street Tax. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that a Wall Street Tax of only .01 percent could bring in nearly $350 billion a year revenue.

Lead Organization

Public Citizen

Other Organizations

Alliance for a Just Society | Americans for Financial Reform | Center for Effective Government | Consumer Action | Friends of the Earth U.S.Institute for Policy Studies, Global Economy Project International Brotherhood of Teamsters | National Priorities Project | NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby New Economy Project | Public Citizen | United for a Fair Economy

More Information

For more information, please visit AFR's website.

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Deciding what’s “fair” when reforming tax laws   (AFRfairtax.pdf)




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