Will You Be There? This Saturday: Nationwide Protests of Tax-Dodging Banksters
Sick of seeing the banksters make off with the big dough while stiffing Uncle Sam in a way that would land you in jail if you tried it? Got a problem with big corps paying zero in taxes while Republicans and Democrats alike target basic government programs -- such as Pell grants and heating subsidies for low-income Americans -- for the chopping block? This Saturday, you'll have an opportunity to make your voice heard in actions taking place nationwide.
First, a little backstory.
In 2009, after repaying $45 billion in TARP funds to the U.S. Treasury, Bank of America still managed to eek out a net profit measured in the billions. And those TARP funds don't even account for half of the taxpayer assistance BoA received from the U.S government. So, the fact that BoA paid exactly zero dollars in corporate income tax to the U.S. government, well, that sticks in our craw a bit.
Then there's this bit of hubris, straight out of a BoA press release:
"We owe taxpayers our thanks for making these funds available to the nation's financial system and to our company during a very difficult time," said Chief Executive Officer and President Kenneth D. Lewis. "Now that we have cleared this significant hurdle, which demonstrates the strength of our company, we look forward to continuing to play a key role in the economic recovery and helping to meet the changing needs of our customers and clients."
'Scuse me? I'd say you owe taxpayers a bit more than your thanks, Mr. BoA. I'd say you owe us some taxes. And this weekend, activists across the nation intend to make that point at Bank of America branches throughout the country.
U.S. Uncut, the organization devoted to making corporate tax-dodgers pay their fair share, is facilitating the March 26 protests through its Web site and social media. From the U.S. Uncut site:
Obama seeks to trim $1.1 trillion from the budget in the next ten years by cutting or eliminating over 200 federal programs, many dedicated to social services and education. For instance, it cuts in half funding to subsidize heating for low-income Americans; limits an expansion of the Pell grant program for students; and decreases Environmental Protection Agency funding by over 12%...But there is an alternative: Make corporate tax-avoiders pay.
So far, March 26 actions are scheduled in 40 U.S. cities, but U.S. Uncut leaders urge you to create one in your own town if you don't find it already on this list (scroll down to March 26). For some background on the planned protests, here's the organization's press release.