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Faux-Populist "Tea Parties" Ignore Tax Breaks for Overpaid CEOs

While the Fox News-fueled coverage of the "tea parties" has hoodwinked major media outlets into believing it's just a spontaneous protest against high taxes, it's actually been a well-orchestrated campaign driven by lobbyists and right-wing corporate front groups that are seeking to keep taxes low and preserve loopholes for wealthy CEOs and corporations. Both sets of tax breaks for the ultra-rich are targeted in President Obama's budget and tax reform plans, while the "Tea Party" activists ignored the real threats posed by a tax system geared to benefiting the rich. As reported by the Center for American Progress's The Progress Report and others:

Although spokesmen of the tea parties have made significant efforts to portray the protests as organic uprisings of like-minded citizens, corporate lobbyists have engineered much of the planning and execution of the events. The corporate front group FreedomWorks, run by lobbyist and former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX), had its staff organize the very first tea party on Feb. 27 in Tampa, FL, following CNBC's Rick Santelli's call for a Boston Tea Party-like upheaval to protest Obama's housing plan. Soon after, FreedomWorks began planning nationwide tea party protests and had their operatives help coordinate logistics, call conservative activists, and provide activists with everything from organizing tips to sign ideas...

In contrast, progressive groups and unions, such as US PIRG, the AFL-CIO and AFSCME, are seeking genuine tax fairness, closing of off-shore tax havens and greater pay equity for all Americans.

This week they unveiled new reports showing how the nation's tax system is rigged for the wealthy and a shocking AFL-CIO-backed website, 2009 Executive Pay Watch, demonstrating that most executives saw their pay and benefits jump as their businesses and the economy tanked through their reckless practices. Indeed, the CEOs of the top ten companies receiving federal bailout money, such as Citigroup and Bank of America, raked in an average of $25 million each during 2007, when the economic crisis began, before their companies were subsequently saved from bankruptcy by American taxpayers.

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