Fairness in Taxation Act: make millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share

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In a stirring speech last Wednesday, President Obama reminded us of our common values -- that as Americans, we believe in shared sacrifice during tough times, and shared prosperity when times are good.

This Tax Day, we've seen those values flipped on their head. While America's millionaires and billionaires pay the lowest tax rate in 80 years, Congress is slashing critical services like food stamps, family planning and foreclosure assistance that keep poor and working folks afloat. It's immoral and un-American.

It's past time that we ask the richest Americans to start contributing their fair share. Please join us in supporting Rep. Jan Schakowsky's Fairness in Taxation Act.

Below is the text of the petition we'll send to Congress on your behalf:

Dear Representative [your Rep.'s name],

I'm calling on you to join Rep. Jan Schakowsky in sponsoring the Fairness in Taxation Act, which would create new top tax rates for those of us fortunate enough to earn millions or billions of dollars each year.

Instead of shared sacrifice during these tough economic times, Congress has passed a federal budget that slashes critical programs that serve and uplift poor and Black communities -- even as it preserves tax breaks for the most fortunate among us. In other words, the sacrifice isn't being shared by the wealthiest among us. Millionaires have an effective tax rate of about 16%, the lowest it's been in decades.

Rep. Schakowsky's bill would level the playing field by creating new tax brackets for the richest Americans, starting at a 45% rate for those whose income is $1 million and topping out at a 49% rate for billionaires.

The notion of taxing the wealthy to help meet our fiscal obligations has overwhelming public support -- a recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that 81% of Americans favor boosting taxes on millionaires and billionaires as a deficit reduction strategy. The same poll found little support for cutting education funding and health care entitlements.

Asking the most prosperous among us to pay their fair share isn't about punishing the wealthy. It's about honoring the American value of shared sacrifice during tough times and shared prosperity during good times. I urge you to co-sponsor the Fairness in Taxation Act.


[Your Name]

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