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From Gary Zuckett

By Staff | May 22, 2013

Families are struggling and Wall Street should pay.

The recent letter by Congressman McKinley bemoaned our jobless recovery saying “what’s happening on Wall Street is not translating to Main Street …” So true.

Since he asked “What can Congress do to help?” Here are some commonsense suggestions that could help Main Street businesses, working families, and those who, through no fault of their own, are jobless.

Stop digging the hole deeper! McKinley recently voted for H.R. 1406: Working Families Flexibility Act. Despite its warm and fuzzy name, this law would allow employers to pay their workers nothing extra for overtime work, other than the potentially empty promise of-“comp time”-that can only be used at the employer’s discretion. Keep us on “time and a half” for our overtime, please! We have bills to pay.

Make Wall Street pay its fair share! McKinley could co-sponsor the Wall Street Trading and Speculators Tax Act-which imposes a 0.03 percent (three-hundredths of a percent) excise tax on the purchase of securities. We pay taxes on everything-the pack of chewing gum at the 7-11 to the used car bought with an income tax check. Billionaire Wall Street hustlers pay no taxes to buy and sell stock. Why not?

Plug the offshore “tax haven” loopholes and others ways the tax system is rigged in favor of big multinational companies. A PIRG report called “Picking up the Tab” revealed that the average West Virginia taxpayer in 2012 would have to shoulder an extra $621 in taxes to compensate for lost revenue from offshore tax havens. Small business would have to pay an average of $2,300. The total cost to our state was over $490 million.

Verizon, GE, and DuPont paid no income taxes in at least two of the last four years. Working families and Main Street business in our state have to make up the difference and it’s just not fair.

We don’t have a fiscal crisis in this country, we have a jobs crisis. We need to put folks back to work so they can spend their paychecks into our local economy. Make the big, multinational conglomerates pay their fair share so we can keep our teachers, firefighters, police, librarians, and all the others working to make our communities safer, smarter, and more productive.

Gary Zuckett

Director of WV Citizen Action Group