Protesters Sickened By Big Companies Taking Federal Bailouts
BALTIMORE — Dozens of protesters converged Tuesday — the day taxes are due this year — in downtown Baltimore to call on corporate America to shoulder a greater tax burden.
The demonstrators said they believe the richest corporations are getting unfair tax breaks at the expense of the other 99 percent of Americans.
Chanting “I am the 99 percent,” nearly 100 protesters chose tax day to declare their outrage at America’s richest citizens and largest corporations.
“I paid more in taxes than General Electric that had $5.1 billion in profits, and there’s something that just doesn’t make sense about that while our country and our city are just struggling to survive,” said Mike McGuire, a member of Occupy Baltimore.
Several groups organized the demonstration, including Good Jobs, Better Baltimore and MoveOn.org.
Terrell Williams said he attended the demonstration because he teaches in a Baltimore City school that is in desperate need of more funding.
“The question has to be if you’re giving those subsidies to corporations, who is not being served? I believe it’s our kids,” Williams said.
Williams said four months of his annual salary goes to pay his taxes and he’s outraged that some big companies get tax breaks that allow them to avoid paying what he called their fair share to the public coffers.
Others said they’re sickened by big companies taking federal bailouts.
“We kept the auto industry going, we kept the banking industry afloat, and that’s all coming out of the pockets of those of us that do pay taxes. So, again, here it is, a basic question of equity,” McGuire said.
Members of Baltimore’s faith community also showed up to call on big businesses to be more socially conscious.
“There’s moral power, there’s spiritual power, there’s financial power, and we have to bring all that together to lift up everybody in this place,” said David Carl Olson, a minister at the First Unitarian Church of Baltimore.
Similar gatherings were organized in other cities across the country.
Baltimore’s demonstration location was chosen for its proximity to the Main Post Office, which remained open until midnight Tuesday for taxpayers to send their returns with a Tuesday postmark. Business inside the post office remained brisk at the 11 p.m. hour.