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    Only 40 miles to reach DC!

    Democracy Spring March

    The Panama Papers: What is To Be Done?

    Editorial

    But we knew that, now didn’t we? We knew that the rich and powerful use the complexity of the tax code to protect and enhance their privilege. The real question is “What is it about Title 17 that–on a deeper level–let’s them get away with it?”

    The hidden agenda of the Federal Tax Code is to make us all feel powerless. Most people–but especially those without college degrees–must pay an expert to figure out what they owe the government for services they may or may not want. It’s like going to a restaurant and paying someone to read a menu written in a nonverbal language, ordering without understanding what you’ve heard and then paying that same expert to figure out the tab. If you feel like someone is twisting your arm when you file your taxes you have it right: the current system is a coerced bargain between those who have information and power and those who do not. The Panama Papers are a case in point.

    The Appropriate Tax—Power to the People

    Take a minute to contrast the piece of crap we have now to the proposed Automated Payment Transaction (APT) tax and you’ll see what I mean. The APT is a tiny tax paid by buyers and sellers on all transactions that includes no credits or exemptions. It would replace all other federal taxes (see links below for details.)

    Don’t want to pay taxes?–buy less stuff. You have the power. The choice is yours.

    If the system were APT then the rich–including the Flash Boys who buy and sell so much invisible stuff–would pay more because they uniformly spend more than people with less money. The APT system is automated so overhead is minimal. Like landlines, answering machines and horse drawn buggies filing a tax return would become a thing of the past.

    Yes! Filing your taxes—our annual sacrifice to the gods of nonsense, the excruciating attempt to wring meaning or at least direction out of mountain of words laid down like sediment one rainy Congressional season after another–could be a thing of the past. And instead of trying to micromanage us and the economy with the tax code the government could use fees, regulations and forethought. Off shore tax havens are not in the picture.

    The only downside to the APT tax is that it would put many low income individuals who work interpreting the tax code out of business. Ditto for almost everyone who works at the IRS. It would also decimate the humongous well-heeled “cheat on your taxes” industry so aptly described in The Panama Papers. And that would be a very good thing indeed. Low and moderate income individuals whose livelihoods are destroyed by instituting the APT should be compensated by the government. Upper income CPAs, tax attorneys etc. can go jump in a lake.

    In the weird world of word coincidences the fact that the acronym for the Automated Payment Transaction Tax (APT) means “suited to the purpose or occasion, appropriate” takes the cake. Even better is the fact that it takes the cake away from the 1%.
    Please support the Automated Payment Transaction tax by frequenting their website and Facebook page. If you can actually volunteer real time to make the tax system more apt more power to you.

    References:

    http://www.theguardian.com/news/2016/apr/03/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-panama-papers

    Tax Revolution – Replace All Taxes On Few with One Tiny Tax on All Transactions Including Stock and Currency Trades


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_Boys

    MONDAY, APRIL 4: Tell Mayor Walsh and Gov. Baker: #MakeGEpay its Taxes!

    Rally Outside Welcome Party for GE Execs Hosted by Gov Baker & Mayor Walsh

    Monday, April 4th, 2016, 3:30pm-5:30 pm
    60 State Street, Boston, MA (State Street T)

    “GE’s warm welcome to Boston shouldn’t include free rent”, Joan Vennochi wrote in yesterday’s Boston Globe. But in fact, Governor Charlie Baker plans to give GE $125 million in tax breaks to ease its move to Boston, and Mayor Marty Walsh will chip in $25 million plus spend $90 million on a bridge. This corporate welfare comes at a time when public education is underfunded and public transit is cutting services and raising fares.

    This, for a company that refuses to pay the $613 million it owes to clean up pollution it caused in the Housatonic River in western Massachusetts; that has avoided at least $37 billion in federal taxes; and that is one of the state’s major military contractors, building the airplanes that are daily being used by the U.S. to destroy Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan, and that were used by Israel to flatten Gaza in 2014.

    The full extent of the government giveaways and influence buying that are part of the GE move are explained by Dig Boston’s Jason Pramas in “GE Boston Deal: The Missing Manual — GE’s Boston charm offensive presents dilemma for Boston nonprofits, others.

    The broader context for the fight over GE, though it does not mention the company by name, is examined by Thomas Franks in “Beware the Blue State Model: How [Massachusetts] Democrats Created a ‘Liberalism of the Rich Franks writes that the knowledge economy epitomized by higher education, biotech, and pharma is destroying the middle class, and that its political representatives are ascendant in the Democratic Party over the working class.

    April 4 is the anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who was killed after he stood up against what he called America’s racism, poverty and militarism. We will gather on April 4 in Dr. King’s memory.

    The Budget for All campaign now joins with others, as Tax Day approaches, to challenge the giveaway of state and city tax dollars to the war manufacturer, General Electric. We are linking the need for a People’s Budget at the federal level with the need for people’s budgets at the state and local levels. Please join us Monday afternoon at 60 State Street as we protest GE and call for a people’s budgets at all levels!

    WHAT: Rally Outside Welcome Party for GE Execs Hosted by Gov Baker & Mayor Walsh

    WHEN: Monday, April 4th, 2016, 3:30pm-5:30 pm

    WHERE: 60 State Street, Boston, MA (near Boston City Hall and State Street Stop on the Orange Line)

    WHO: Coalition of Boston area social justice groups and leaders

    #MakeGEPay! $37 billion in Federal Taxes: GE has parked $119 billion in profits overseas, avoiding over *$30 billion in federal taxes. If GE paid their fair share, billions would be available for public schools, low cost housing, fixing the T, renewable energy, green jobs and countless other needs. GE also receives federal funds for weapons used by the U.S. and Israel to commit war crimes in the Middle East.

    #MakeGEPay! $125m in State Taxes + $613m Cleanup of Housatonic River: Governor Baker has promised $125 million in tax breaks for GE. $125 million would help reduce MBTA fare hikes, lower public college costs, move homeless families out of motels, and support jobs, not jails! Not a penny for GE until it cleans up its pollution of the Housatonic River in Western MA!

    #MakeGEPay $25m in City Tax Breaks + $90m Bridge: Mayor Walsh has promised a $25 million tax break and a $90 million bridge over Fort Point Channel for GE. $25 million could stop budget cuts in the Boston Schools or provide rent vouchers for the homeless. And $90 million would be better spent to rebuild the bridge to Long Island to reopen facilities for people in recovery.

    On April 4, Mayor Walsh and Gov. Baker are hosting a Public Forum with GE’s CEO Jeff Immelt at 60 State Street in Boston.

    Let’s welcome GE to Boston!

    Union of Minority Neighborhoods • Budget for All Campaign • Jewish Voice for Peace – Boston • Neighbor to Neighbor • Right to the City/Boston • Mass Alliance of HUD Tenants • Progressive Mass • American Friends Service Committee • Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom • Unitarian Universalist Mass Action Network • New England War Tax Resistance • OPENBoston • Alliance for Water Justice in Palestine • United for Justice with Peace • Massachusetts Peace Action • Boston Homeless Solidarity Committee • Housatonic River Initiative • MassMuslims • NoBoston2024 • Massachusetts Senior Action • Pass Mass Amendment

    To get involved contact:

    Union of Minority Neighborhoods • 617-522-3349 • horacesmall(AT)umnunity.org

    Budget for All Massachusetts • 617-354-2169 • info(AT)budget4allmass.org

    Jewish Voice for Peace – Boston • 339-223-3185 • jvpboston(AT)gmail.com

    NO NEW JAILS

    ACTION ALERT!

    Say NO to new jails in Massachusetts!

    Tell legislators you oppose S1297: “An Act establishing an eastern Massachusetts women’s county corrections facility.”

    Call Senator Karen Spilka, Chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee and the lead sponsor of this bill: 617-722-1640

    Call Representative Brian Dempsey, Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee: 617-722-2990

    Tell them:

    New jails are not the answer. We need a moratorium on jail building until Massachusetts invests in bail reform and alternatives to incarceration. Please vote against S1297.

    www.exprisoners.org
    https://twitter.com/epocama
    https://www.facebook.com/exprisoners
    4 King St Worceter mass 01610

    4/13 @ Northeastern: workers rights & public defenders

    What: Organizing Legal Workers and Public Interest Lawyers

    Unions are under attack, and public sector workers’s unions have come under particularly heavy fire, but here in Massachusetts we are organizing a group of state employees who have been, up until now, disenfranchised and voiceless: public defenders. Let’s come together to discuss how to combat the ideology of austerity, imagine sustainable public interest careers, and build solidarity within the working classes. Jobs not Jails!

    Who:

    • Deborah Wright, President of the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys,
    • UAW Local 2325, AFL-CIO, in New York City (invited)
    • Susan DeMaria, Regional Organizer for the National Organization of
    • Legal Services Workers, UAW Local 2320, AFL-CIO
    • Rudy Renaud, Organizing Director for the Service Employees
    • International Union Local 888
    • Christian Williams, staff attorney with the Committee for Public
    • Counsel Services and member of the National Lawyers Guild
    • Chris Gonsalves, staff investigator with the Committee for Public
    • Counsel Services active in the organizing campaign
    • and others involved in organizing to win collective bargaining rights for CPCS employees and the Fight for $15

    When:
    Wednesday, April 13, 2016
    5:30pm to 7:00pm

    Where:
    Northeastern University School of Law
    Dockser Hall (https://goo.gl/maps/yzktXSnTqj72)
    65 Forsyth St, Boston
    Ruggles – Orange Line T
    Northeastern – Green Line T

    The event is free; pizza will be provided.

    Here’s a link for our petition to win basic worker rights for public defenders in Massachusetts:
    https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/extend-organizing-rights-to-massachusetts-public-defenders

    some background:
    http://www.seiu888.org/mass-defenders-cpcs/

    We also be discussing plans for the action on April 14:
    #WageAction April 14th Rally: Join the Fight for $15 in 2016!
    April 14 @ 3:30 pm – 5:30 pm
    Rally at the Massachusetts State House – National Day of Action
    http://wageaction.org/event/april-14th-ff15-rally

    yours in solidarity,

    Benjamin Evans
    National Lawyers Guild
    northeastrvp(AT)nlg.org

    Contact us

    Occupy Boston Media <Media@occupyboston.org> • <Info@occupyboston.org> • @Occupy_Boston