“Tax the Rich” bus parks across from Democratic debate spot

    Andrea Mercado with The New Florida Majority speaking on Wednesday in Miami.

    With the eyes of the national political media focused on Miami this week for the Democratic presidential debates, a national activist group which wants candidates to focus on fixing income inequality tried to spotlight their issue Wednesday as part of an 18-state tour.

    Activists formed the group, called Tax the Rich, in 2017.

    Their message is clear, simple and popular, according to the group’s campaign director, Dana Bye: it’s to fight for a more just tax code, with corporations and the wealthy paying their fair share.

    In tonight’s debates, she said, “We hope to hear bold solutions and bold ideas about how we can unbreak this tax system that has been squeezing every penny out of working Americans for so long.”

    The group parked a bus with “Tax the Rich” spelled out on its side near Miami’s Arsht Center, the site of the debates.

    “We’re here in Miami, the most unequal city in the richest country in the world,” said Andrea Mercado, the executive director with the New Florida Majority.

    “It’s time to tax the rich to make sure that all families have access to a doctor and health care,” she said. “It’s time to tax the rich to make sure that families don’t have to choose between paying for rent and paying for diapers and child care. It’s time to tax the rich and multinational corporations to make sure we have bold solutions to the climate change crisis and advance to a just transition to protect the future generations. And it’s been time to tax the rich for reparations for the descendants of enslaved people.”

    Also participating at the news conference was Marleine Bastien with the Family Action Network Movement, a group that works predominantly with Haitian-Americans in Miami, mostly women and children.

    Bastien decried the 2017 federal income tax cut Congress passed and President Trump signed into law, saying that many of the people she works with make only around $25,000 and received a tax refund of less than $50 earlier this year.

    “While they receive some benefits for tax credits, many did not, and they share their hopelessness with us every day,” she said.

    The Tax the Rich tour will move to West Palm Beach on Friday, and travel to 18 other states over the next five weeks. It will conclude at the end of next month in Detroit, the site of the next two Democratic presidential debates.



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