An Economic Emergency for the 99%
VirginiaOrganizingsupporters, unemployed workers and local residents turned out in a cold downpour to declare an “Economic Emergency for the 99%” in Richmond. November 17 was a nationwide day of action for the 99% and Americans in 60 cities across the nation held rallies at decaying schools and bridges that underscore the need to invest in infrastructure and jobs. The Hamilton Street bridge in Richmond is used by 85,749 vehicles each day and is a vivid example of the many roads, schools and other infrastructure sites in need of repair. The American Jobs Act would provide $809,000,000 in infrastructure funding for Virginia and 10,500 infrastructure jobs.
The American Jobs Act would also help support up to $10,800 education jobs. “I have been unemployed since 2008 when I was laid off of my job teaching high school science.
Please take action by supporting the President’s American Jobs Act, which will put thousands of Virginians back to work while strengthening our infrastructure. Click here to contact your members of Congress.
We Move Our Money Together
On November 2, Bank of America dropped their proposed $5 per month debit card fee— a victory for consumers. Unfortunately, excessive fees are one of many ways that Bank of America is hurting our communities.
Join us in telling the big banks: No more profiting off of millions of illegal foreclosures. No more billions of dollars in taxpayer funded bailouts. No more hoarding over a trillion dollars while our communities crumble and good jobs disappear. No more stealing our democracy with corporate money in politics. No more funding predatory lenders. Take the divestment pledge today.
The Surplus That Never Was
The governor will announce his budget proposal in mid-December and the outlook is grim. Despite Governor Bob McDonnell lauding a supposed surplus all year, the state faces an $800 million shortfall.
The state has run out of options to manage its way through this recession. The governor is left with no options other than a cuts-only strategy, a revenue-only strategy, or a combination of the two. In poll after poll, large majorities of Virginians prefer closing our budget shortfall using a balanced approach—one that includes new revenue along with targeted spending cuts.
We can do this by reforming outdated, inefficient, or unwarranted tax credits and loopholes. Loopholes cost Virginia more than $12.5 billion every year – that’s more than 12 times our current shortfall. Even as we cut funding for crucial investments in our future like roads, schools, environmental protection, and healthcare, nearly two out of every three corporations in Virginiahave no tax liability at all.
While middle class families pay taxes on their income and purchases, more than 60% of corporations in Virginia pay no corporate income tax!
In 2008 alone, Virginia coal companies claimed $31 million in tax credits. Those tax credits were designed to support employment in the coal industry. Instead, coal companies laid off employees faster than ever. While middle class families pay sales taxes on everything they buy, Virginia gives a cut rate on sales taxes for those who buy luxury yachts. Reforming costly and inefficient loopholes will preserve Virginia’s future prosperity and bring balance to our current budget process.
Virginia Organizing is part of the Better Choices Coalition. Join us on Thursday, December 15 at the Capitol (House Room 2, 10:00a.m.) to call on the General Assembly and the governor to take a balanced approach to the budget.
No Deal is Better Than a Bad Deal
Over the last six months Virginia Organizing leaders made phone calls, shared petitions, held rallies, made presentations and wrote letters to oppose cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Just before Thanksgiving, co-chairs of the Supercommittee announced that they were unable to come to an agreement. Rather than accept a bad deal that would have included cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, we got no deal, and for once, the gridlock is something to be thankful for.