Protest Targets Buyout Barons

Buyout firms such as Kohlberg, Kravis and Roberts have made billions of dollars using special tax breaks that reward them for buying and selling companies; and they’ve slashed wages and destroyed jobs all while using tax loopholes to pay an even lower tax rate than everyday Americans on their billion-dollar profits.

Today, July 17, in cities from New York to Bangalore to Paris, members of the Service Employee International Union (SEIU) in 100 cities across America will be joined by activists from 25 countries to take aim at the special perks and tax loopholes that buyout firms depend on to get richer.

There is legislation in the U.S. Senate to close the loopholes and provide money for tax relief for middle income taxpayers or fund health care. The buyout industry has spent millions to defeat this legislation.
They are also working with powerful friends in Washington such as Sen. John McCain, who have vowed to keep their special tax loopholes.

John McCain’s powerful buyout lobbyist-advisers, such as Henry Kravis, the 57th richest person in America, is helping him raise money.

Kravis, the founder of the private equity firm Kohlberg, Kravis Roberts (KKR), made $450 million in 2006.
That’s $1.2 million a day at $51,000 an hour, but despite his exorbitant income, Kravis can pay a lower tax rate than many teachers, firemen, and nurses.

This buyout billionaire doubled his wealth from $2.6 billion to $5.5 billion in just one year. Meanwhile, thousands of workers at his portfolio companies have seen their wages fall and many others have lost their jobs.

Join activists at Kohlberg, Kravis Roberts Headquarters, 9 West 57th Street in New York, NY 10019 at 4pm, to tell Henry Kravis that the days of special perks and tax loopholes that allow them to make billions are coming to an end.

If you would prefer, you may join protesters at KKR-owned Toys R Us, located at One Geoffrey Way in Wayne, NJ to demand that companies adopt responsible corporate practices.
The unbridled greed of the buyout industry must stop because working families need an economy that works for everyone, not one that just enriches a few.

“We put all this energy into protecting the interests of business,” said Lewis Black. “You think we might—you know, in terms of fairness—put the same amount of energy into protecting the interests of the workers.”

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