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Letter to Senator Whitehouse supporting his Paying a Fair Share Act

February 16, 2012

Dear Senator Whitehouse:

On behalf of the more than three million members of the National Education Association, we would like to express our support for the Paying a Fair Share Act (S. 2059).  We believe this legislation will help restore the fundamental fairness in our economic system that all Americans have a right to expect. 

NEA believes that those most able to do so must pay their fair share toward deficit reduction.  We have to choose between two very different visions for America – one that places the American Dream within greater reach for every American, and one in which we continue to cater only to the wealthiest.  We cannot balance the budget on the backs of working families, children, and seniors while exempting Wall Street and the wealthiest individuals. As President Obama said in his State of the Union address, the path to economic recovery, stability, and prosperity relies on ensuring that everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.

The current system is skewed in favor of those who can best afford to contribute to economic recovery and against those struggling the most.  In fact, the top 400 earners in America paid an average effective tax rate of just 18.2 percent in 2008 – lower than many hard-working families earning considerably less.  The Paying a Fair Share Act would help correct these inequities by ensuring that multi-million-dollar earners pay at least a 30 percent effective tax rate.  In so doing, it would help choose the right vision for America – the one in which every American contributes to economic recovery and all have the hope and the help they need to succeed. 

We thank you for your leadership on these critical issues and stand ready to work with you to ensure a fairer and more balanced economic system. 


Kim Anderson
Director, Center for Advocacy                                              

Mary Kusler
Director of Government Relations