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Democrats Rally For A “Fairer” Tax System

Democratic leaders, activists and union members in Florida are raising their voices to ask for what they call a more balanced Federal tax system. A number of groups held protests Thursday outside the offices of several Republican congressmen around the state.

Get rid of the Bush tax cuts. That’s what Bruce Ballister said would be one of the best first steps to take to get a fairer tax structure in the country. He added it’s time for lawmakers to start ignoring the Grover Norquist pledge for no new taxes, which many of the country’s Republican lawmakers signed.

“You can’t just say ‘okay, I gave a pledge several years ago to a guy that nobody elected and therefore I can’t say yes to anything.’ You need to be able to communicate across the aisle,” Ballister said.

And Ballister said he wouldn’t be unwilling to lose those tax cuts for middle class individuals as well. He was one of a group of more than a dozen people gathered outside Republican Congressman Steve Southerland’s office in Tallahassee. He and the group of mostly seniors held bright yellow signs with black lettering reading things like “Middle Class, not Millionaires.” Roberta Christie also attended the event. She said the election may be over, but that doesn’t mean it’s time for grass roots organizers like her to stop working for things they think the country needs.

"If we really are a democracy, it’s we here, in many, many places, in many many ways, who have the make is possible for some of the progressive things to happen,” Christie said.

And Jeanette Wynn the Florida president of the union AFSCME or the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, said she thinks grass roots organizers can keep their momentum going.

“And if we can do that standing together as we stood together to carry that vote in Florida, how many weeks it was, and we carried it didn’t we? Then we can do anything we choose to do,” Wynn said.

The group presented a letter with the information to Southerland’s staff since the congressman is not currently in Tallahassee. Southerland has talked about what he calls the importance of “streamlining” the country’s tax system, which he says would make room for more business growth.

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Regan McCarthy is the Assistant News Director for WFSU Public Media. Before coming to Tallahassee, Regan graduated with honors from Indiana University’s Ernie Pyle School of Journalism. She worked for several years for NPR member station WFIU in Bloomington, Ind., where she covered local and state government and produced feature and community stories.

Phone: (850) 645-6090 | rmccarthy@fsu.edu

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