Senator Bernie Sanders has introduced two pieces of legislation to end the country’s rigged tax code and “ensure the wealthiest people and largest corporations pay their fair share”, as part of continued efforts to combat rising economic inequality.
The two pieces of legislation are entitled the For the 99.5% Act and the Corporate Tax Dodging Prevention Act.
Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) are joining Senator Sanders as original cosponsors of the For the 99.5% Act in the Senate, which has garnered the support of over 50 national organizations.
In the House, the companion estate tax legislation will be introduced by Representative Jimmy Gomez (D-Calif.), while Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) will introduce the bill on offshore corporate tax dodging.
The For the 99.5% Act is a progressive estate tax on the fortunes of the top 0.5% of Americans, while the Corporate Tax Dodging Prevention Act will eliminate tax breaks and loopholes that encourage corporations to shift jobs and profits offshore.
The news came a week after the reintroduction of the Tax Excessive CEO Pay Act, and ahead of the Senate Budget Committee hearing on “Ending a Rigged Tax Code: The Need to Make the Wealthiest People and Largest Corporations Pay Their Fair Share of Taxes.”
Sanders said: “Unbelievably, the United States today has more income and wealth inequality than almost any major country on Earth. This inequality has only deepened with the economic crisis brought on by Covid and by a tax system that allows for billionaires to pay less in taxes than working people across the country.
“From a moral, economic, and political perspective our nation will not thrive when so few have so much and so many have so little. We need a tax system which demands the billionaire class to pay its fair share of taxes and which reduces the obscene level of wealth inequality in America.”
Gillibrand said: “As everyday New Yorkers struggle to put food on the table, and keep a steady check in their bank accounts, it’s time the uber wealthy pay their fair share to get New York, and our country, on a sustainable path towards recovery.
“I am proud to be an original cosponsor of the For the 99.5% Act, a common-sense piece of legislation to make sure Congress is doing everything possible to assist struggling Americans across the country.”
Whitehouse added: “The wealthiest Americans ought to pay their fair share when they receive big inheritances. We need a tax system that’s fair, simple, and doesn’t let the ultra-rich avoid this responsibility of citizenship.”
Van Hollen said: “We need an economy that works for all Americans, not just the wealthiest few. With inequality skyrocketing and the pandemic making it harder and harder for folks to find work, it’s critical that we implement policies that will put everyday people first.
“This legislation will ensure America’s billionaire heirs contribute more to support national investments that will benefit all Americans and build a more inclusive economy with more shared prosperity.”