Tax Day

Tomorrow is April 15, or simply “tax day” as it is known to millions of Americans. While the vast majority of American citizens feel that the tax system is incredibly screwed up, the majority continues to file returns and pay their taxes. Increasingly, the tax system has been “reformed” to favor the super rich at the expense of everyone else. This trend has accelerated under the Bush administration, which has used small $300 tax rebates to gain public support for huge tax breaks for the very wealthy. Also, the IRS has continued to have it’s enforcement ability cut, allowing more wealthy people to avoid paying taxes. At the same time that the IRS was letting the wealthy get away with tax avoidance, Congress did finance a crackdown on the poor. The working poor, most of whom make less than $16,000, are eight times more likely to be audited than millionaire investors in partnerships. And of course, American corporations are paying an increasingly smaller percentage of the tax burden. This trend is unlikely to change, as both George Bush and John Kerry are for lower corporate taxes. Even more disconcerting than the question of who is paying taxes is the question of what the taxes are being spent on. A staggering amount of taxpayer’s money is being spent to finance US imperialism, militarism and war. In response to this, various organizations and people have adopted a strategy of tax resistance as a political statement.

Here locally on the 15th, an action is planned for the downtown post office

Grand Rapids Petition Drive to Target Sewage Proposal

At Noon on Thursday, April 15 at the downtown Grand Rapids post office site, a 112-page report will be released by the Natural Resources Defense Council, Clean Water Action and West Michigan Environmental Action Council detailing how the Bush administration is rewriting environmental rules to benefit industry in ways that sometimes hurt taxpayers. On a day when average Americans are filing their federal income taxes, the news event will focus on how Bush administration’s policies are benefiting industry.

The report will also coincide with an announcement Thursday by Clean Water Action of a petition drive to get City Commission backing of a resolution opposing the Bush administration’s proposed so-called sewage “blending” policy that weakens sewage treatment standards. This rule rewriting by the Bush administration comes at the expense of Grand Rapids, which has already invested over $200 million to upgrade sewage infrastructure.

Who: Clean Water Action, Natural Resources Defense Council and West Michigan Environmental Action Council

What: Release of “Rewriting the Rules: The Bush Administration’s Assault on the Environment” and petition drive announcement

Where: West side of Main Post Office Downtown Grand Rapids

When: Noon