At their core, social movements propel our country to be more just and equal. We are better when we focus on what unites us, including our shared goal to create a society where neither race, geography nor income at birth predict how we fare in life. The federal government made significant investments in people during the 20th century to build a once-growing middle class. But it failed to ensure that all citizens could equally participate in education, housing and job opportunities, often deliberately excluding Black and brown people. It’s time to do better. And tax policy is a big part of that.
To build an inclusive economy and live up to the nation’s ideals, policymakers must throw out the old playbook that calls for small changes at the margins but leaves intact a system that advantages the powerful.
Calls for economic and racial justice have been countered by a radical right that deliberately stokes culture wars to distract us from the public imperative to ensure basic economic well-being for everyone. Corporations and an elite few have amassed power by weakening workers’ voices, funneling gains in worker productivity to the corporate brass, lobbying for corporate tax breaks and pushing for deregulation that causes environmental harm and diminishes consumer choice. The COVID-19 health and economic crisis has further exposed how policymakers’ focus on the whims of the wealthy and powerful have left far too many of the rest of us vulnerable: Millions of workers are one paycheck away from economic hardship; far too many don’t have access to paid sick leave or health care; and high-quality education is not equally available to all children. Black and brown communities are disproportionately harmed due to structural inequities and the legacy of centuries of racist policies and practices.
To build an inclusive economy and live up to the nation’s ideals, policymakers must throw out the old playbook that calls for small changes at the margins but leaves intact a system that advantages the powerful. Instead, we need transformational change that reimagines the role of government and how we can harness it to make all our lives better. And we must go into this with our eyes wide open, recognizing that building an inclusive economy requires race-forward policy solutions that center Black and brown communities that our nation has historically denied and continues to hinder opportunity to fully access all that our society can and should offer.
Political and economic power are interconnected. As it is, the wealthy and powerful have too much sway in our democracy, but it doesn’t have to be this way.
Citizens for Tax Justice is driven by the knowledge that tax justice is key to racial, gender and environmental justice. We support: the progressive movement’s call for transformational policy change that focuses on people over corporations; immigration reform that provides a path to citizenship; and the tax justice principles of the Movement for Black Lives. The core principles of our work include:
Political and economic power are interconnected. As it is, the wealthy and powerful have too much sway in our democracy, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Our purpose is to ensure an equitable and adequate tax system that benefits all of us. We work to achieve this goal by: distilling tax policy research so anyone who is interested can learn about what’s at stake in the nation’s tax policy debates; being a conduit for working people to collectively raise their voices and stand up to special interests, lobbyists and corporations; and using all advocacy tools available to ensure we ordinary people have a prominent voice in the development of our nation’s tax laws.