Taxing the rich. It's an idea whose time as come, but the message can hardly get out. We here at the TaxTheRich2012.org / Mike Strimling for Senate campaign first established the website for TaxTheRich2012.org in July 2011. Disappointed that Obama had extended the Bush tax cuts, and the utter surrender that surrounded this issue, we thought it was time to remind the public that rates had not just been 39%, as Obama now proposes, but actually twice that on millionaires - even in the time of Nixon and Eisenhower.
Then the Occupy movement came, and we thought surely that there was a groundswell to bring back the days when people were not afraid to stand up on their hind legs and protest the gross increase in inequality that has stemmed from 30 years of tax cuts for the rich. Polls show that 70% of people would vote to tax the rich.
Our object in this campaign for Mike Strimling is to have a place on the ballot for voters in the US Senate primary to protest that inequality and vote to tax the rich.
We have to mention, however, that there has been a lack of contributions for this campaign. Probably, the oxygen is being sucked out of contributions to progressive campaigns generally by the sort-of-kind-of-Democrats - like Obama and Feinstein. We just couldn't see, when we formed TaxTheRich2012.org, that we should instead contribute to campaigns of Democrats who vote for Bush tax cuts or where there seem to be no principles and a weak response to the virulent Koch Brothers/Tea Party propaganda.
Of course, there are good reasons why we don't have the contributions that Feinstein has. Or even 1/10,000 of her contributions.
We are not a campaign of a sitting Senator. We also are representing the interests of people who make less than $200,000, and who thus have other concerns (how to pay tuition, how to retire, how to make car payments) rather than contributing to a campaign, even if they do believe there should be tax hikes on those who make over $250,000. The perennial problem is that those who have the money to contribute to campaigns are millionaires eager to keep or increase their tax breaks (which end up taxing the rest of us and our children with huge debt and fees). The more it costs to run TV ads, the more people with large wallets are able to influence the process to favor them.
And we are in a country of citizens who are propagandized not to see their own interests: we are taught to think that we or our kids may make millions if we don't tax the rich, when in fact America has lately become a place with far less social mobility than most industrialized countries (BECAUSE of the tax system that subsidizes education for the rich and defunds public schools and public universities). The facts are gathered at TaxTheRich2012.org.
Also, we had active labor unions with large memberships in the 1918 to 1981 period, who could offset the rich corporate donors and supported the candidates who set tax rate up above 50% to the 70% to 90% range for corporate dividends. Now, millionaires are paying 15% on those dividends. And labor unions are a tiny part of the workforce - a pity - even if they would give. Of course, those labor union contributions are probably also going to Feinstein and Obama.
It would be nice, anyway, to get the word out to California voters that all of them will have a chance to vote for steeper taxes on the rich on the June Senate primary ballot.
But it takes money even to make small publicity. Putting our Candidate Statement in the Ballot Pamphlet, calling for taxing the wealthy, just by itself cost over $5000. Any other publicity is going to be expensive. We get a lot of emails asking us to pay to get our name on door hangers, signs, robocalls, etc., for a price. (Those don't come from the Democratic Party and they are simply ads.) There is no public financing of campaigns here!
So, we've heard that the way to get contributions is to ask. We'd appreciate whatever you can give. We have buttons to push on our website at TaxTheRich2012.org to contribute by Visa card and ACT Blue.
We get a lot of visits lately but, to tell the truth, virtually no contributions. If anyone is motivated to help us get this campaign publicized, we'd appreciate anything you can do. Linking us on Twitter or facebook or to your website would be great. And, not to be pesky, but a few dollars to help defray the expenses of this campaign would sure help.