Romney Celebrates with Trump as Working New Yorkers Rally Against Rich Tax Dodgers
On the street outside the shimmering gold logo of Trump Towers, a baseball team has gathered. This isn't the Yankees or the Mets, though. It's the long-lost Dodgers. The Tax Dodgers, that is.
Inside Trump Towers, Ann Romney is celebrating her birthday with a fundraiser expected to bring in close to $600,000. Outside on the street, New Yorkers from the Working Families Party, New York Communities for Change, VOCAL-NY, United NY, and many other community groups have joined forces to remind the Romneys—and anyone passing by—that they pay a higher tax rate than the richest Americans.
The Tax Dodgers pose in their uniforms, hula-hooping cheerleaders hold up their “Tax Loopholes,” and the “team manager” thanks “hardworking, taxpaying Americans” for “paying taxes so we don't have to.”
Ann Romney doesn't surface, but a number of her party guests do make their way in and out the side doors of the towers during a rousing performance of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” accompanied by an accordion, with the lyrics slightly rewritten (listen to audio here).
“Take me out to the tax game/ Flip the bird to the crowd/ Losers pay taxes, we take rebates/ We make the rules for the corporate state/ Then it's wham bam slam through the loopholes/ We always win, what a game/ We're the one, yes, the one percent and we have no shame!”
One of the women holds up a “Moms Drive the Economy” sticker over the giant baseball “Mitt” (pun most definitely intended); another shouts to the crowd “At least I pay taxes!”
While we have no information on most of the attendees of Romney's party--though one did complain to the Guardian's Ryan Devereaux that she pays plenty of taxes and was being unfairly demonized--we do know that Mitt Romney paid a tax rate of 13.9 percent in 2010. And the Tax Dodgers are determined not to let anyone forget it.
"I know how much I pay," Margaret Passley, a home care worker from East Flatbush, tells AlterNet. "Mitt Romney does not know how much he pays. In January he said he thinks he pays 15 percent. I think he should know."
Celebrating Tax Day
"Tax Day is about the citizens rising up against the big money crowd to demand that they stop ripping off the rest of us and start carrying their fair share of the tax burden. Otherwise we will rot as a nation, even if some wealthy people live glamorous lives," Dan Cantor, executive director of the Working Families Party, told AlterNet.
That, in a nutshell, was the message of the various groups banding together on Tuesday to visit some of the city's most infamous tax dodgers—including Romney's Bain Capital, General Electric, Wells Fargo and more.
The day began at post offices around the city, where activists with the various groups handed out flyers detailing the tax giveaways to big corporations, hedge funds (which pay no New York City tax on their profits) and of course, the big banks that caused the economic crisis in the first place.
They converged on the steps of the James A. Farley post office in Manhattan to hold a press conference (or they would have, if the police hadn't roped off the steps) on on tax day, one of the post office's busiest days of the year. (As of 4pm, the ropes had been reinforced by police barricades.)
Denied the steps, the press conference proceeded on the sidewalk, where members of SEIU 32BJ, VOCAL-NY, NYU for OWS, and faith leaders spoke of the need for corporations to pay their fair share, and volunteers handed out “I paid my taxes—the 1% should pay their share” stickers to people on their way in and out of the post office, as well as fact sheets on the corporations that don't pay up.