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MARCH 1, 2001
10:53 AM
CONTACT:  National Women's Law Center
Margot Friedman or Lela Shepard at 202-588-5180
Women's Leader Calls Bush Tax Plan a Threat to Women and Families
WASHINGTON - March 1 - The following is a statement by Nancy Duff Campbell, co-president, National Women's Law Center:

President Bush's proposed tax cut is unfair to women and their families. The size of the Bush plan poses a serious threat to important programs and services that are especially critical to women and their families, such as Social Security and Medicare. And the distribution of the plan is unfairly tilted in favor of the highest-income taxpayers, leaving out vast numbers of women and children.

The Bush plan provides nothing to the lowest-income families, many of which are headed by women. Over 30 percent of white single mothers with children and half of black and Hispanic single mothers with children would receive nothing from this proposal. Even when these families don't pay income taxes, they have a substantial payroll tax burden -- a reality that could be addressed by income tax reform but is completely ignored by this plan. And women in general pay a greater share of their income in payroll taxes than do men.

But women and their families are not simply left out of the benefits -- they could be seriously harmed by this plan. The President's plan uses up far too much of the revenue needed for programs in areas that are critical to women and their families, such as Social Security, Medicare, education, child care and health care. So unless there are budget surpluses even higher than the Administration's projections, cuts in these programs are sure to follow. While every American benefits from investments in these federal programs, women have a greater stake in them because they tend to earn less during their lifetimes, live longer, and are more likely to have uncompensated family care-taking responsibilities. Nearly two out of three women 65 and older rely on Social Security for at least half of their income. And even with Social Security, one out of five elderly women living alone is poor.

To meet this threat, the National Women's Law Center is re-activating the Coalition on Women and Taxes to work as an integral part of Fair Taxes for All. This is a coming together, once again, of a broad spectrum of groups that were active in the 1986 tax reform debate and successful then in increasing tax fairness for women, especially single heads of household. We've banded together to fight for tax fairness for women before and we're ready to fight again. We know that women are disproportionately and negatively affected by President Bush's plan, and we'll be bringing this message to the Administration, to Congress, and to the public. We'll be mobilizing women across the country against the Bush tax cut. Because women know what's at stake. Because women know what's unfair. Because women know what it means to be left out.

Nancy Duff Campbell is the co-president of the National Women's Law Center and the Chair of the Coalition on Women and Taxes. She has over 30 years' experience in tax law and policy, especially as it pertains to women and their families.


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