A new web video unveiled today by the National Education Association and Americans for Tax Fairness vividly shows how extending the Bush tax cuts for CEOs and the richest 2 percent of Americans would be paid for by cutting education funding for kids.
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The video entitled, “Kids Not CEOs,” is timely because after the election next month Congress is expected to vote on whether to extend the Bush tax cuts for CEOs and the richest 2 percent that are due to expire at year’s end. If Congress ended the Bush tax cuts for CEOs and the richest 2 percent, it could save roughly enough revenue, $1 trillion, to avoid most of the $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts (sequestration) to education and other government programs over the next decade that are due to take effect starting in January.
“This video brings home the point that Congress faces a stark choice: it can protect our kids’ education, or it can continue to rig our tax system that already favors the wealthiest 2 percent and corporate CEOs at the expense of our children’s future,” said Dennis Van Roekel, president of the 3.2 million member National Education Association (NEA). “We’re urging the video viewers to take action and tell Congress to make the right choice: Kids Not CEOs!”
A new NEA analysis based on the September report by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) finds that the across-the-board cuts set to go into effect January 2 could result in a loss of more than 78,000 education jobs. These cuts also will reduce education program funding dramatically, impacting essential services to 9.3 million students. The state-by-state impact of sequestration cuts on federal education programs is here.
“Many middle-class teachers already pay a higher income tax rate than millionaire CEOs,” said Frank Clemente, campaign manager for Americans for Tax Fairness, a coalition of over 200 national, state and local groups. “That’s unfair to teachers, but it’s even more unfair to give tax breaks to the rich that get paid for by cutting education jobs and education programs that kids need to succeed. It’s time Congress reformed our tax system so it stands up for Kids Not CEOs.”
The Bush tax cuts for the richest 2 percent give millionaires an average tax break of $160,000 annually, according to The National Economic Council. The Wall Street Journal reported that last year alone 57 CEOs received more than $1 million in tax breaks from the Bush tax cuts, collectively reaping more than $100 million in tax cuts, according to the Institute for Policy Studies.