Statement of Bob Fulkerson, PLAN State Director

October 6, 2017


RENO – Nevada’s obscene economic inequality, with disproportionate harm to women and people of color here, prove why the Trump/Ryan corporate tax cuts are the worst fiscal tool there is for increasing overall prosperity.


Nevada was one of two states that saw the sharpest increase in income inequality from 2014 to 2015. The increasing gap between the millionaire class and the growing numbers of those struggling to get by is highly racialized and gendered.


But that’s what happens when CEO’s decide to pay people less and rig the tax game in their favor.


It is not the taxes have taken out of working people’s paychecks, but what employers have not been putting into these paychecks, that is the barrier to wellbeing.


The Trump tax policy slogan is similar to Nevada’s: “Coddle the rich and screw poor.”


Nevada has the lowest gambling taxes in the world, the lowest mining taxes in the world, and no income tax. This benefits Barrick, Sheldon Adelson,and about 12,000 millionaires who reside here. But more than half of all Nevadans are financially insecure. And more than 160,000 Nevadans work full time and barely earn $17,000 per year. How will cutting taxes for rich people help them?


Children born in families struggling to get by don’t have less ability than those born to rich families. But they won’t reach their full potential, thanks to neoliberal policies like the Trump tax plan that are built to favor rich, white, male corporate CEO’s.


In Nevada, the annual wage gap (the amount of money women make less than men) is $6,301. For women of color, the gap is even larger. Latinas are paid 52 cents and African American women are paid 65 cents on every dollar compared to white men.


In Reno, 30 percent of workers make too little money to afford the rent here. In no single county in the US can a minimum wage worker at 40 hours a week afford the average one-bedroom apartment.


Nevada’s and our nation’s economic and tax policies have been crafted by smart lobbyists to benefit their corporate clients. They have opposed commonsense policies like minimum wage increases, paid sick leave and ending wage discrimination against women.


The result is that people who work here are not paid enough to earn a living. And now they want to cut their taxes, already the lowest in the world, so they can cut food, housing, medical care, education and other basic human rights.


When Reagan proposed tax cuts for the rich by taking from the poor, we called him “Reagan Hood.” But the Trump/Ryan tax plan takes this wholesale theft to a new level.


There are more of us than there are CEO’s and their corporate lobbyists who are getting rich off the profit we produce. PLAN invites you to help shape our vision to create a Nevada that puts people and planet first.


PLAN is a coalition of about 30 of Nevada’s strongest and most diverse organizations. We believe Nevadans deserve a sustainable, equitable and healthy society, and a clean environment.


We work with Nevadans to speak out, take charge, and make Nevada the best it can be for all its residents.