For Immediate Release

:
September 21, 2010

For More Information:

Bob Cohen, Citizen Action of New York 518.265.6183, bcohen@citizenactionny.org Ron Deutsch, New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness 518.469.6769, mkd67@aol.com

COMMUNITY GROUPS SAY CONTINUING TAX CUTS FOR WEALTHIEST 2% MEANS MORE PAIN FOR AVERAGE NEW YORKERS
New Analysis Finds $6 Billion Cut to New York if Bush Tax Cuts for Wealthy Continue Broad Range of Programs New Yorkers Depend On Would Be Harmed
Albany, NY – Organizations representing workers, children, health care consumers, seniors and low and moderate income New Yorkers spoke out today in an Albany press conference against any extension of Bushera tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, saying that continuing the cuts will raise the federal deficit and make the federal government unable to fund the state and local services that average New Yorkers depend on. The New York organizations released an analysis by the Fiscal Policy Institute finding that a proposal by House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Oh) to extend all of the Bush tax cuts and to cut $101 billion in funding for non-security discretionary programs would hit New York where it hurts - to the tune of $6 billion. “More tax cuts for the wealthy will mean pain for working families in New York and other states,” said Karen Scharff, Citizen Action of New York Executive Director. “We shouldn’t cut health care, education, job creation and basic services in our neighborhoods to provide additional benefits to the wealthiest Americans who don’t need the money and won’t spend the tax cuts they receive in our communities. We need to restore basic fairness to our federal tax policies by ending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.” Congress is now considering tax cuts passed in 2001 and 2003 under President Bush and the then-Republican controlled Congress that cut taxes for the wealthy and middle class; these tax provisions expire at the end of the year. The groups at today’s press conference support the proposal by President Obama to extend only the expiring tax cuts for working Americans and the middle-class. In contrast, the plan advanced by House Minority Leader Boehner would continue all of the Bush-era tax cuts for two years, including income tax cuts on income of $200,000 and above for individuals and $250,000 and above for couples. The Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI) analysis builds on a September 15th analysis by the national Center on Budget and Policy Priorities finding that the Boehner proposal would cut FY 2011 domestic (non-security) discretionary programs by 21.7% ($101 billion) nationally from the levels President Obama has proposed. (The Obama proposal represents a virtual freeze on domestic discretionary spending.) The Boehner plan would result in the greatest cuts to domestic spending in recent years. FPI finds New York’s share of this cut would be roughly $6 billion, including cuts of $101.8 billion for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), $269.4 for Title I Education --more--

Grants, $29.5 million for the Child Care & Development Block Grant Program and $26.8 million for Consolidated Health Centers. The FPI analysis appears at http://citizenactionny.org/taxes-report. “Our analysis finds that under the House Republican plan, New York would lose about $6 billion in critically needed funding as compared to the President’s plan,” said Frank Mauro, FPI Executive Director. “The Boehner plan would result in devastating cuts to programs New Yorkers desperately need like education and health care, and make it even harder for our state to recover from the recession.” “To ensure a strong economic recovery, we need a fundamental reexamination of the tax policies of the Bush years, when Congress passed tax cuts that cost the U.S. Treasury trillions of dollars, accounting for a significant share of the federal deficit,” said Ron Deutsch, Executive Director of New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness. “The top 1 percent of wealthiest Americans received the equivalent of a $50,000 check each year, while the middle class and the poor received far less. In the meantime, the gap in income between the wealthy and the rest of us enormously increased during this period. We shouldn’t be adding $700 billion to the federal deficit over the next decade to continue a failed policy of slashing taxes for the rich.” “This isn’t a fight over tax cuts - this is a fight over the survival of America’s middle class,” said Arlea Igoe, Secretary-Treasurer of the New York State Public Employees Federation. “Many of our neighbors, friends and families are hanging on by a thread through this recession only to see factions in Congress plotting to cut the strings of America’s safety net to fund tax cuts for the wealthiest two percent.” "For far too long, the federal government has failed to fully fund programs to ensure that every child is given a real opportunity to learn. Instead of backing up the policies of No Child Left Behind designed to protect our children, the government has protected the deep pockets of the wealthy by giving them tax breaks. The Obama Administration is making strategic investments to improve our schools but we still need Americans who earn over $200,000 a year to pay their fair share so we can stop leaving so many of our children behind," said Nikki Jones, Alliance for Quality Education Communications Coordinator. “Many New York seniors like other New Yorkers are struggling to get by now in this tough economy,” said Dennis Tracey, Executive Director of the New York State Alliance for Retired Americans. “If the Boehner plan were passed, low income seniors might face cuts in low income energy assistance, health care and other programs that are vital to their survival.” “President Obama has it exactly right: extend tax cuts for working, poor, and middle class Americans. For the past three decades, there has been an orgy of tax cuts favoring the wealthy, increasing their share of the national income by huge proportions,” said Andreas Kriefall, Upstate Director of Hunger Action Network of NYS. “It is high time to rectify the tax system and begin to restore fairness and equity by lightening the burden on lower and middle incomes, and reclaiming some of the massive wealth that has disproportionately gone to higher earners without strengthening our economy. Hungry and poor New Yorkers need the President and Congress to fight for this kind of tax fairness!” The event is part of a national week of action sponsored by Americans for Responsible Taxes (ART), a coalition of over 80 national groups. ART supports the repeal of the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest, reinstatement of the estate tax to at least 2009 levels, closing tax loopholes and protecting working families by rewarding their work with tax relief. To date, over 25 New York statewide and regional organizations have signed the ART principles, participating in activities like phone-ins and emails to members of Congress, letters to the editor and newspaper “op-eds.” The full ART “Statement of Support” and a listing of the New York ART endorsers appears at http://action.citizenactionny.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=2095. --30--

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