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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Karen Nussbaum: a Working America Message from the Field. “Tax Fairness Is the Best Answer in budget Fights”

Across the country, we’re looking at state and local budget fights, and finding strong support for fair taxes. People want to see corporations and the very wealthy pay their fair share, rather than seeing the tax burden shifted towards working people or having their services cut.
• In Philadelphia, our most effective strategy has been to use a message that combines the increase in property taxes with the decrease in city services. For example, our organizers are saying, “We pay more to the city and get less from it while Mayor Michael Nutter hands out huge tax breaks to major corporations like Comcast. It’s just not fair.”
• In North Carolina, our organizers are having success talking about how the proposed tax reform will adversely affect unemployed folks. For example, our organizers will say something like, “This reform will greatly increase taxes for the unemployed–those who can afford it least of all.” Our organizers are using a similar approach when talking to folks who identify secure retirement as their top issue, by talking about how the proposed tax reform will adversely affect seniors.
• In Ohio, we’ve been successfully using a chart from Policy Matters that shows taxes being raised on a majority of Ohioans through Gov. John Kasich’s proposals.
• We’re seeing that these tax shifts and service cuts are negatively affecting how people feel about Gov. Kasich and Mayor Nutter.

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