Bernie Sanders Unveils Two Bills to Tax Corporations and the Rich
United States Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is set to unveil two pieces of legislation that would increase the corporate tax rate to 35 percent and levy a progressive tax as high as 65 percent on wealthy estates worth more than a billion dollars.
“What we want to do is use the committee to focus on the crises facing the working class of this country, the middle class of this country, talk about issues like income and wealth inequality, talk about the mass amounts of tax avoidance and tax breaks that the very wealthiest people in this country, talk about student debt, talk about how much it will cost us if we do not address the existential threat of climate change. In other words, look at the major issues facing our country and focus a spotlight on them,” Sanders said in an interview with National Public Radio (NPR) on Thursday.
Reversing the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that former President Donald Trump signed into law early in his term has been a foundation of Sanders’ economic vision for the country.
The first bill would restore the corporate tax rate to 35%, undoing a cornerstone of Trump’s 2017 tax overhaul. Republicans cut the corporate rate to 21% in that bill, a move that Joint Committee on Taxation valued at $1.3 trillion over 10 years.
The bill would also end rules that allow companies to further reduce their tax bill by shifting operations offshore.
A second bill would add a new way to tax the wealthiest estates in the country. Sanders says the bill is aimed at the fortunes of the top 0.5%. It would exempt the first $3.5 million of an individual’s estate from the estate tax, $7 million for married couples.
Those with estates between $3.5 million and $10 million would be taxed at 45%, and the rate would jump to 50% between $10 million and $50 million, 55% for estates over $50 million and 65% for estates valued at over $1 billion.
Sanders explained that reworking the tax code to be more fair and equitable will benefit all Americans and serve as a check to the grotesque levels of income inequality that have become rampant in the United States.
“What we need to do, in the midst of massive income and wealth inequality when the rich are becoming much richer, while the middle-class struggles, we need a tax system, which says to the wealthy and large corporations that they’re finally going to have to start paying their fair share of taxes. At the end of the day, we need massive tax reform in this country, so that we end the tax loopholes and the giveaways that the wealthy and large corporations,” the Vermont Senator said.