Tens of thousands sign petition urging Congress to oppose tax cuts for the wealthy

Tens of thousands sign petition urging Congress to oppose tax cuts for the wealthy
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Tens of thousands have signed a petition from tech entrepreneur Nick Hanauer urging Congress and President Trump to oppose tax cuts for wealthy individuals and corporations.

"Our democracy and our economy are being ripped apart by growing inequality," Hanauer wrote in the petition, which was created last week and appears on Change.Org. "Tax cuts for the rich masquerading as reform will only make it worse. I need you to help me fight for a tax code that puts working families back at the center of the economy."

Congressional Republicans and the White House are aiming to pass tax legislation by the end of the year, and a joint statement that key Republicans released last month calls for tax reform to lower tax rates for individuals and businesses.

But congressional Democrats and liberal groups have been pushing back against any potential tax cut for the wealthy that Republicans may include in a reform bill. Most Senate Democrats signed a letter saying that they won't support tax reform that lowers taxes for those earning in the top 1 percent of income, and a number of liberal groups launched a campaign last week called Not One Penny to fight tax cuts for rich people and businesses.

Hanauer has a group called Civic Action that is one of the partners in the Not One Penny campaign, and his petition argues that "not one penny in tax cuts should go to millionaires, billionaires and wealthy corporations." 

As of Thursday afternoon, the petition had more than 45,000 signers. The groups behind the Not One Penny campaign have been encouraging progressives to sign it. 

"Don't be fooled: what the Trump Administration and dark money groups are pushing is not tax reform, it is simply another giveaway to their wealthy donors and major corporations already raking in record profits," said Robyn Patterson, a spokeswoman for Tax March, one of the groups involved in the Not One Penny campaign.

Change.org Campaigns Director Jon Perri said that Hanauer's petition is one of the fastest growing petitions on the website this week.

"Nick's petition speaks to the concerns millions of Americans have around income inequality right now and it's great to see someone in his position using our platform to share his message," Perri said.

Hanauer, who was an early investor in Amazon and founded a venture capital firm, said in the petition that it would be "criminally stupid" for Congress to cut taxes for rich people like himself.

"The truth is, taxes on the rich don’t need to be 'reformed' — they need to be raised, because it’s investments in the middle class that make our economy grow," he said. 

updated at 4:15 p.m.