Activists urge government to tax the rich

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – A nationwide movement stopped by the State Capitol today demanding that the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share in taxes.

“We are here to urge that the economy works for all of us, not just the wealthy few,” said Gabriela Santiago-Romero, the Policy and Research Manager with We the People Michigan.

Santiago-Romero says she was just a little girl when she realized her family didn’t have a lot of money.

“I said ‘Mommy can you buy me new shoes?’ and she said ‘No mija, I can’t.’ and that’s when it dawned on me,” said Santiago-Romero. “I asked her, ‘Mommy, are we poor?’ and she turned around and laughed and said, ‘You didn’t know we were poor?'”

According to Citizens for Tax Justice, the wealthiest Americans paid a top income tax rate of 91 percent in the 1950s and 1960s. Today, that rate is down to 43.4 percent.

“This is not an extreme idea, this is an American idea,” said Maura Quint, the executive director of Tax March.

The group is traveling around the country by bus to raise awareness about tax inequality, beginning in Miami last month and ending tomorrow in Detroit.

“Working families need to be given a shot and we need to change that, and we need to change it by increasing taxes on the wealthy,” said Quint.

While opponents think the rich are already paying their fair share in taxes, Santiago-Romero thinks:

“We won’t be pitted against each other anymore and we will fight for Michigan that we all deserve,” said Santiago-Romero.

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