Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has introduced a bold new bill to combat income inequality by increasing taxes on the wealthiest Americans.
Sanders said, “Our nation cannot survive morally or economically when so few have so much while so many have so little. We need a tax system that asks the billionaire class to pay its fair share of taxes and which reduces the obscene degree of wealth inequality in America….The fairest way to reduce wealth inequality, rebuild the disappearing middle class, and preserve our democracy is to enact a progressive estate tax on multi-millionaires and billionaires.”
The Sanders tax plan would only impact the nation’s wealthiest millionaires and billionaires. 99.75% of all Americans would not pay a penny more in estate taxes.
Here is what the Sanders bill does:
– Lowers the estate tax exemption level from $5.4 million to $3.5 billion for individuals and from about $11 million to $7 million for couples.
– Increases the marginal tax rate to 45 percent on estates between $3.5 million to $10 million, 50 percent on estates between $10 million and $50 million, and 55 percent on estates over $50 million.
– Creates a new billionaire surtax of 10 percent that would only impact 530 billionaires who are worth a combined $2.6 trillion.
– Ends loopholes allowing billionaire families to set up dynasty trusts to avoid taxes.
– Closes loopholes used by the wealthy to avoid estate taxes.
– Protects family farms and conservation easements.
The Sanders legislation addresses every excuse that Republicans use to oppose raising the estate taxes. The tax policies of the last thirty years have played a major role in widening the gap between the rich and the poor.
What Sen. Sanders is proposing is the future of tax policy. There is widespread support across party lines for making corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share. For Republicans, trickle-down economics is an ideological belief. For the rest of the country, taxes have become a moral issue.
Liberals and Democrats have successfully made the argument that the getting the wealthy to pay their fair share is a matter of fairness. Those who make the most money should have a higher tax burden than everyone else.
Bernie Sanders knows exactly what to do to address income inequality, and it begins by making the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share.