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Why They’re Marching

Capitol Tonight

Liz Benjamin

In the wake of Mayor Bloomberg’s bad news budget announcement, the labor-led coalition planning a week of action that culminates with a march on Wall Street on May 12 has released a collection of Web videos featuring march participants explaining why they decided to get involved.

The video that appears below stars Mike Kink, who departed his post with the Senate Democrats not long ago to head up the Strong Economy For All Coalition. Kink and the May 12 Coalition are calling for the city to “make millionaires pay their fair share” – a push that echoes the failed effort to extend the three-year PIT increase scheduled to sunset at the end of the year.

The coalition released a report that it maintains “lays out the corporate welfare giveaways, tax loopholes, mega-contracts, and bad lending practices that each cost the city hundreds of millions of dollars – at the time when the city is debating some of the harshest budget cuts since the fiscal crisis of the 1970s.”

“There’s a real alternative to the Mayor’s all-cuts-all-the-time budget proposal,” Kink said. “Our report shows that the city could get over $1.5 billion in cost savings and fair-share taxes from big banks, millionaires and hedge funds to prevent the worst cuts.”

“Making big banks and millionaires pay their fair share is the right approach in such difficult times – working and poor New Yorkers shouldn’t have to shoulder the entire burden of closing the budget gap.”

There’s also a “virtual rally” against Bloomberg’s budget going on today on the May 12 Coalition’s blog and Twitter.

Bloomberg, who is not only a billionaire, but also the richest man in NYC, has long held that taxing the wealthy is not a good idea. He recently panned President Obama’s call to tax the rich during an interview on Fox News.