Newsletter: Sept. 30, 2009


Hello friends,

We’re happy to share some victories this week from the frontlines of progressive tax reform.

Anti-estate tax groups drop bid for total repeal
A major lobby of 46 business groups that have been fighting the estate tax decided to drop their longstanding call to abolish the tax. Instead, they’re pushing to gut the tax by raising the wealth exemption to $10 million.

We still have objections to that proposal, but their scaled-back opposition is meaningful — and a victory for tax fairness advocates. Earlier this year this lobby was still making an “all or nothing” case to get rid of the estate tax.

You can read more about this on Chuck Collins’ blog on Huffington Post.

Meanwhile…
Warren Buffett was back on Capitol Hill recently, urging Democratic Congressional leaders to raise taxes on the wealthy. He repeated a point he made in 2007 — that his effective tax rate is significantly less than his lower paid co-workers.

Lawmakers said they were happy to hear from Buffett. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo) said: “It was interesting to see someone who is such an aggressive capitalist, who believes so much in our capitalist system, saying we’ve got the scales way too heavily toward people who are very, very wealthy.”

You can read more about this on the Wealth for the Common Good blog.

Campaign updates

Two members of our team, Alan Preston and Alison Goldberg, spent a weekend in San Francisco this month to participate in the annual Tides Momentum Leadership Conference. Alan was invited to give a plenary presentation about Wealth for the Common Good. Watch it on YouTube.

Editor’s note: There are more than 250 lead signers for the petition, not 250,000! But we’re working on it!

Your voice:
We’re prepared to enter a number of debates this fall over tax policies, including the expiration of Bush-era tax cuts, the estate tax and closing overseas tax havens.

A crucial part of our work in this debate involves first-person accounts from our members. We need your help getting these stories out. We’d love to hear about how public investments played a role in your own financial success, and why you support progressive tax reform.

If you’re interested in participating in our messaging campaign, by adding your voice to media, by writing an op-ed or a letter, contact alison@wealthforcommongood.org.

And please consider forwarding this message to a few friends and colleagues, and urge them to sign the petition at www.wealthforcommongood.org.

Please, stay in touch!
For more updates, you can find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Featured signer:
Jonathan C. Lewis, CEO of MicroCredit Enterprises

“Wealth for the Common Good speaks for my values and my commitment to a national community based on fairness. In the matter of taxation, whatever amount of financial support our communities need (and we can all disagree about that), let’s stop the free riders. Fair taxes means that, no matter how big or small the pot, we all put in our fair share.”

Please support Wealth for the Common Good by making a secure donation online. We currently have a challenge grant. One of our members is matching all donations given between now and Nov. 15, up to $15,000.