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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: 307519

Reported Deaths: 7096
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto20772248
Hinds19888408
Harrison17489302
Rankin13311275
Jackson13097243
Madison9895210
Lee9856169
Jones8290160
Forrest7523146
Lauderdale7187237
Lowndes6262144
Lamar610584
Lafayette6027117
Washington5280132
Bolivar4769129
Oktibbeha455297
Panola4442103
Pearl River4419139
Warren4280118
Marshall4273100
Pontotoc416472
Monroe4057132
Union403675
Neshoba3987176
Lincoln3869108
Hancock372085
Leflore3468124
Sunflower329389
Tate322681
Pike3180104
Scott310572
Yazoo304368
Alcorn297764
Itawamba296776
Copiah292965
Coahoma289677
Simpson287484
Tippah284668
Prentiss275659
Marion265779
Wayne261341
Leake261073
Grenada254982
Covington254580
Adams245882
Newton244859
George237847
Winston225981
Tishomingo222067
Jasper219748
Attala213273
Chickasaw204857
Holmes186471
Clay182454
Stone179131
Clarke176876
Tallahatchie175240
Calhoun163230
Yalobusha158836
Smith158534
Walthall130543
Greene129433
Lawrence126223
Noxubee125933
Montgomery125542
Perry125138
Carroll120826
Amite120041
Webster113432
Jefferson Davis105432
Tunica102525
Claiborne101330
Benton97225
Kemper95226
Humphreys94332
Franklin81823
Quitman78916
Choctaw72817
Jefferson64828
Wilkinson64727
Sharkey49617
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 518899

Reported Deaths: 10712
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson753641487
Mobile37763798
Madison33859494
Tuscaloosa25266443
Montgomery23962565
Shelby23106238
Baldwin20631300
Lee15524165
Calhoun14284311
Morgan14139268
Etowah13662345
Marshall11957219
Houston10380278
Elmore9993200
Limestone9811147
Cullman9470188
St. Clair9426234
Lauderdale9215227
DeKalb8746181
Talladega8058171
Walker7087275
Jackson6754110
Autauga6723103
Blount6483135
Colbert6203130
Coffee5399112
Dale4767110
Russell428838
Franklin419982
Chilton4083109
Covington4053114
Tallapoosa3893146
Escambia387674
Dallas3527149
Chambers3499122
Clarke346360
Marion3065100
Pike305875
Lawrence295395
Winston272372
Bibb256258
Marengo248661
Geneva245875
Pickens232959
Barbour224755
Hale218775
Butler212266
Fayette208960
Henry187844
Cherokee182044
Randolph176941
Monroe171440
Washington164038
Macon154548
Clay149354
Crenshaw149257
Cleburne146041
Lamar139234
Lowndes136453
Wilcox124327
Bullock121340
Conecuh109028
Perry107926
Sumter102932
Coosa99228
Greene90734
Choctaw58724
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