Under Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) federal budget plan, each millionaire would receive a tax cut of about $187,000. And when it comes to Ryan and his GOP cronies in Congress like Rep. Dan Lungren, that fat tax giveaway to the wealthy comes at a cost. Unfortunately, Ryan and Lungren want our nation’s seniors to absorb that cost through draconian cuts to Medicare.
Today in Sacramento, seniors and workers affiliated with the Sacramento Central Labor Council had an unlikely ally in their fight for tax fairness and against the Ryan budget: millionaire David Watson. Watson, who’s a member of the group Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength, stood with seniors on Tax Day to denounce the Ryan budget plan and the unfair tax system we currently have which rewards the wealthy and well-connected at the expense of the middle class.
Watson earned his fortune through hard work and an innovative spirit. He worked his way through college before becoming a software engineer at Google. He’s now a music entrepreneur, and a passionate advocate for tax fairness and justice.
The tax system is designed to give me breaks that I didn't ask for and I don't need. The Ryan budget makes it worse. It cuts my taxes while cutting essential services for seniors. If Rep. Lungren truly cared about his constituents, he'd protect essential programs they need instead of lavishing gifts on wealthy.
Lungren enthusiastically voted for Ryan’s budget in March, calling it “pro-growth.” Lungren’s idea of growth? More tax breaks for the very wealthiest among us while shifting health care costs to seniors.
Health Access Executive Director Anthony Wright:
Remember the saying “taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society?” The proposals being considered in Congress these days are uncivilized. It is uncivilized to give tax breaks to those with the most while cutting services of those with the least. It is a troublesome proposal that Rep. Dan Lungren and others in the House of Representatives voted last week to make big cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and other key services in order to find additional tax breaks to the top 1%.
The hard truth is that when Lungren and other politicians make decisions to cut programs like Medicare, which is a lifeline to seniors, the consequences aren’t political. They’re human. If seniors lose health care options under Medicare, many will be forced into bankruptcy, or, even worse, suffer life-threating ailments that could have otherwise been treated.
Al Haggert is a Sacramento-area retiree who receives Medicare along with his wife. When politicians like Lungren propose Medicare cuts to pay for tax breaks for the rich, it really gets under his skin.
This guy (Lungren) has an agenda and he has an agenda on social security, retirement, and health insurance. So what are we gonna do if we lose Medicare? We gotta fight, and we have to get out there and tell these guys this is no way to do business.
The bottom line is that the Washington politics of Ryan and Lungren aren’t serving the interests of working people, seniors, students or anyone else who doesn’t have a seven-figure income. And increasingly, those with seven-figure incomes are speaking out against a political agenda designed to prioritize the wants of the wealthy over the needs of families and communities. Watson, for one, wants to see a change toward tax fairness this Tax Day.
I work with people who are waiting for their tax returns to pay rent and buy food. Raising my tax rates will not take food off my table. My accountant is more stressed out at tax time than I am. In fact, I pay my accountant more than I paid in taxes last year…and my accountant pays a higher tax rate than I do.