Alderman calls for federal tax reform at rally

First Ward Alderman Lloyd Holcomb on Wednesday called for the Arkansas Congressional delegation to fight against tax deductions benefiting the wealthiest Arkansas and to press for corporate tax reform to end tax breaks for corporations that outsource jobs to foreign workers.

“It’s wrong to reduce the deficit on the backs of the middle class by cutting vital programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and education,” Holcomb said at a rally outside the George Howard Jr. Federal Building in Pine Bluff.

“We should ask millionaires to pay at least as high a tax rate as their secretaries, instead of cutting education funding for our children,” Holcomb said. “We need to end tax breaks to large corporations that ship jobs overseas and use that money to invest in jobs in America improving our roads and bridges, rebuilding manufacturing and making us energy independent.”

The rally, which called for “Fair Taxes, Not Cuts,’ was part of a “national day of action,” according to a news release from the event’s organizers, which included Arkansas Community Organizations; the AFL-CIO; and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. The news release described those groups as “state partners” of Americans for Tax Fairness.

“Although the legislation to avert the fiscal cliff that passed in early January raised taxes on the richest 0.7 percent of Americans, corporations have not yet paid one dime in additional taxes to reduce the deficit,” the news release said.

Organizers are gathering signatures from Arkansas pastors to urge Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) to support the :principles of a fair tax system and protect program that support low-income and working families,” the news release said, adding that the letter has been signed by more than 40 Arkansas pastors.

The news release also quotes an excerpt from the letter:

“As a Christian in public office, you are certainly familiar with the words of the prophet Isaiah, ‘Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless.’ Preserving ineffective tax cuts for the wealthy while cutting programs the rest of us need fulfills these criteria of injustice. We implore you to do what is right for America and in keeping with the teachings of your faith.”