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Tax Fairness Coalition Calls Budget Deal a Good Step but Also a Missed Opportunity to Close Tax Loopholes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Dec. 11, 2013

WASHINGTON –  Frank Clemente, Campaign Manager of Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF), today released the following statement in response to the budget deal announced Tuesday in Congress.

“The budget deal is an important improvement over even deeper spending cuts that were scheduled to hit next year. It reduces the harm those cuts would have caused American families and our economy. But Congress missed a tremendous opportunity to both replace future cuts to essential services and to reduce the deficit by closing tax loopholes used by corporations and wealthy individuals to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. Polling shows that agenda is very popular with the American people.

“By closing tax loopholes, Congress could extend unemployment insurance for the more than 1.3 million Americans that will lose this vital source of income at the end of the year. By closing tax loopholes, Congress could protect the pensions of federal employees rather than protect the special lower tax rate enjoyed by hedge fund managers. And by closing tax loopholes, Congress could end tax breaks for companies that ship jobs and profits offshore and use that money to invest in jobs and services in America that grow our economy.

“Closing tax loopholes was strongly opposed by conservatives in Congress. Our hope is that they will support a more responsible and balanced approach in the future – one that stops protecting the wealthy and big corporations at everyone else’s expense.

A recent poll by Hart Research Associates shows that the American public would have strongly supported measures that were omitted in the current budget agreement. The poll finds that by 53% to 27%, voters want to “Reduce the [$110 billion in automatic] spending cuts by fifty percent and replace them with new tax revenue from the wealthy and corporations,” rather than “Allow the full spending cuts to take effect.” [Q10a]. The public overwhelmingly approves, by a margin of 62% to 36%, of “clos[ing] tax loopholes that allow corporations and wealthy individuals to avoid paying U.S. taxes by shifting income to offshore tax havens.” [Q20ab]

Americans for Tax Fairness is a diverse coalition of more than 325 national and state organizations that collectively represent tens of millions of members. The organization was formed on the belief that the country needs comprehensive, progressive tax reform that results in greater revenue to meet our growing needs. ATF is playing a central role in Washington and in the states on federal tax-reform issues.

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For press inquiries, contact:
Harry Gural, Communications Director
press@americansfortaxfairness.org