Every day in the United States, communities accomplish remarkable things using the resources we maintain together. Our roads, our clean air, our public schools, our parks, and our health departments are just a small part of the collective investment — through our taxes — that keeps everyone moving forward.
Investments in public goods provide benefits to everyone — and they also help people in need. Our local, state, and federal tax policies help us pool our resources to ensure equal opportunity and inclusive prosperity.
With the release of the House tax bill this week, our country’s Republican-led Congress is undermining what our tax revenues allow us to achieve together.
As Republicans push their plans forward, it’s essential that we remind ourselves of what taxes actually do: they enable us to build the communities we want to live in.
Over the last few weeks, a group of Public Health Awakened members has started meeting to articulate our vision of a different narrative on taxes and public funding. Our vision celebrates our connections and the deepest American values of opportunity for all. Taxes are one important way that vision is realized, on the ground, in real places, supporting real people.
Public health practitioners are heading to Atlanta next week for the American Public Health Association’s Annual Meeting, where we will be urging everyone to speak up about what taxes mean for the public’s health. Join us by sharing your thoughts using the hashtag: #TaxesAreGood. With the crazy fast timeline on this tax bill, we have to speak now to protect our communities and the public’s health!
Certainly some tax reform is needed. In the past, for example, our tax policies helped many but they also left out large populations that face the greatest barriers to health. The kind of tax reform we need now is one that can ensure all can thrive — not one that just gives more to those who are already well off. The reality is that we all do better when we all do better: a safe, healthy, well-resourced community is something we all want for ourselves, our families, our neighbors and our communities. We can achieve it collectively, knowing #TaxesAreGood!
Add your voice to the movement: print, fill out, and take a photo with this sign as a reminder of all the good things our taxes pay for (see detailed instructions below).
We’re #WokePublicHealth, and we’re here to build the power of public health to achieve health for ALL!
How to join the conversation
- Print the template sign and fill in the blank with a message on the positive things our taxes do. For example, “Our taxes fight fires!” or “Our taxes should keep our water clean!”
- Take a photo of yourself holding the sign and post it on social media with this message: “I want to live in a society where we can ALL thrive. #TaxesAreGood, they pay for the common good! #WokePublicHealth #APHA2017”
For more information about Public Health Awakened or to get involved in the Tax and Public Funding Narrative Workgroup, contact Sari Bilick: firstname.lastname@example.org
This post is also published on our HIP blog.