Bernie Sanders releases tax plan to target income inequality

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders released a new plan on Monda...

Posted: Sep 30, 2019 8:40 AM

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders released a new plan on Monday to tax companies with large pay gaps between their executives and workers.

"The American people are sick and tired of corporate CEOs who now make 300 times more than their average employees, while they give themselves huge bonuses and cut back on the healthcare and pension benefits of their employees," the Democratic presidential candidate said of the plan. "It is time to send a message to corporate America: If you do not end your greed and corruption, we will end it for you."

Corporate pay disparities have come under increasing scrutiny as politicians and individual activists — including, most notably, the heiress Abigail Disney — have called out CEO pay packages at companies that rely on low-wage workers.

The income inequality tax, which comes less than a week after Sanders released a separate wealth tax plan, would penalize companies who have large disparities in compensation between their highest paid officials and median workers. The plan would raise an estimated $150 billion over the next decade, according to a Sanders campaign statement.

The tax kicks in at half a percentage point for companies who pay their chief executive -- or their highest paid employee, if it's not the CEO -- more than fifty times their median worker and caps off at 5 percentage points for companies who pay their top executive as much as five hundred times more than the median employee. This tax applies to all private and publicly held corporations with annual revenue of more than $100 million. The Securities and Exchange Commission requires companies to disclose its CEO to median work pay ratio.

In the release of the plan, Sanders outlined how much this tax would have forced large corporations to pay in taxes.

According to the campaign, if this tax were in effect last year, "McDonald's would have paid up to $110.9 million more in taxes, Walmart would have paid up to $793.8 million more in taxes, JPMorganChase would have paid up to $991.6 million more in taxes, Home Depot would have paid up to $538.2 million more in taxes, and American Airlines would have paid up to $18.8 million more in taxes."

Calling out large corporations for getting away with paying little in taxes is a central part of Sanders' stump speech. The presidential hopeful will often do a call and response with the audience, asking them how much corporations like Amazon have paid in taxes, to which the audience typically replies "zero" in unison.

Sanders has previously attacked several of these companies for having relatively low minimum wages for their workers.

A year ago, Sanders lashed out at Walmart, McDonalds, American Airlines and several other major firms for paying some employees so little that they have to sign up for government benefits. He introduced a bill that would slap a tax on these companies equal to the value of the public assistance their workers receive.

He has also urged companies to raise their minimum wage to $15 an hour. Some, including Amazon and Disney, did so. McDonalds said earlier this year it would stop lobbying against raising the minimum wage, which is $7.25 an hour on the federal level.

For Sanders, a tax on corporations with large pay discrepancies fits into the larger narrative of his campaign's message of elevating workers' rights and exposing levels of income and wealth inequality.

"This campaign is about transforming this country and creating a government, and an economy that works for all of us, not just the top 1%. This campaign is about ending the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality that exists in this country," Sanders said in Rock Hill, South Carolina, earlier this month. "I want each and every one of you to be thinking hard about whether you are comfortable living in a country where three people own more wealth than the bottom half of American society. Where the top 1% owns more wealth than the bottom 92%."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 270476

Reported Deaths: 5945
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto18020198
Hinds17192342
Harrison14654214
Rankin11404225
Jackson11146194
Lee9160149
Madison8736173
Jones6934120
Forrest6324126
Lauderdale6212198
Lowndes5623124
Lafayette5295102
Lamar515565
Washington4984125
Bolivar4187111
Oktibbeha413686
Panola390784
Pontotoc383461
Warren3766103
Monroe3746112
Marshall362273
Union361966
Pearl River3578107
Neshoba3528160
Leflore3148110
Lincoln311489
Hancock304263
Sunflower296079
Tate282964
Alcorn276257
Pike275985
Itawamba272665
Scott268055
Yazoo259956
Prentiss257255
Copiah254649
Coahoma253656
Tippah252652
Simpson246072
Leake239367
Marion230774
Covington226173
Grenada225874
Wayne219337
Adams218172
George211041
Winston208971
Newton202748
Attala198265
Tishomingo197861
Chickasaw191546
Jasper185839
Holmes173268
Clay169538
Tallahatchie158835
Stone154727
Clarke151062
Calhoun143122
Smith134226
Yalobusha125435
Walthall116638
Greene115930
Noxubee114726
Montgomery113136
Lawrence109317
Carroll107722
Perry106431
Amite103829
Webster99024
Claiborne90426
Jefferson Davis90231
Tunica89722
Benton87423
Humphreys86225
Kemper81820
Quitman71611
Franklin71517
Choctaw64914
Wilkinson60325
Jefferson57521
Sharkey45917
Issaquena1616
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 449086

Reported Deaths: 7172
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson656061094
Mobile32260595
Madison28795237
Tuscaloosa21859277
Montgomery20388348
Shelby19707139
Baldwin17629217
Lee13482112
Morgan12795154
Etowah12265213
Calhoun11730228
Marshall10543133
Houston9221182
Limestone849485
Cullman8412143
Elmore8379123
Lauderdale8049121
DeKalb7985122
St. Clair7985144
Talladega6637114
Jackson611557
Walker6078185
Colbert5650104
Blount556895
Autauga549967
Coffee473471
Dale418692
Franklin380153
Russell364216
Chilton351379
Covington347986
Escambia343446
Tallapoosa3228111
Dallas3164105
Chambers313775
Clarke311139
Pike269435
Lawrence259759
Marion256667
Winston236443
Bibb226151
Geneva217151
Marengo213332
Pickens203031
Barbour189840
Hale189748
Fayette183534
Butler176660
Cherokee167333
Henry162229
Monroe154221
Randolph149536
Washington144727
Clay131650
Crenshaw127048
Macon124638
Cleburne124128
Lamar122024
Lowndes118637
Wilcox110022
Bullock107429
Perry100819
Conecuh99123
Sumter91228
Greene78624
Coosa66119
Choctaw52424
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