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: 468498

Reported Deaths: 9100
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison31907468
Hinds30552569
DeSoto29532342
Jackson22868335
Rankin21016355
Lee14393214
Madison13961263
Jones13053215
Forrest12879231
Lauderdale11244292
Lowndes10148171
Lamar9972122
Pearl River8569208
Lafayette8008136
Hancock7110107
Oktibbeha6764117
Washington6756146
Neshoba6350200
Monroe6304156
Warren6267159
Panola6036122
Pontotoc599292
Bolivar5960143
Marshall5917115
Union558885
Pike5424133
Lincoln5192127
Alcorn509388
George454766
Scott447392
Leflore4377138
Tippah431780
Itawamba429192
Prentiss429074
Copiah423883
Simpson4238108
Wayne419663
Tate418999
Adams4174109
Yazoo411486
Sunflower4057104
Covington404891
Marion399699
Leake389784
Coahoma385996
Newton360273
Grenada3489100
Stone342657
Tishomingo320987
Attala318285
Jasper308261
Winston298191
Clay282672
Chickasaw277464
Clarke271784
Holmes257685
Calhoun256939
Smith241546
Yalobusha215447
Tallahatchie213849
Walthall203457
Lawrence202431
Greene202045
Perry195053
Amite191251
Webster191141
Noxubee173437
Montgomery168652
Jefferson Davis164041
Carroll158936
Tunica146533
Benton137531
Kemper136538
Claiborne124134
Choctaw123824
Humphreys122036
Franklin114127
Quitman100925
Wilkinson98335
Jefferson85832
Sharkey61620
Issaquena1916
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 757893

Reported Deaths: 12784
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1082301712
Mobile694251158
Madison47738562
Baldwin35347420
Shelby34758281
Tuscaloosa32576495
Montgomery32249645
Lee21576200
Calhoun19621363
Morgan19061307
Etowah18363413
Marshall17028252
Houston15881337
St. Clair14724270
Limestone13908178
Elmore13812239
Cullman13756228
Lauderdale12909263
Talladega12124200
DeKalb11705220
Walker10047303
Autauga9371119
Blount9272146
Jackson8970132
Coffee8550150
Colbert8229160
Dale8162142
Escambia632298
Tallapoosa6255165
Covington6214153
Chilton6152128
Russell586753
Franklin558292
Chambers5155127
Dallas4569173
Marion4490114
Clarke447070
Pike439188
Geneva415999
Lawrence4002101
Winston399982
Bibb388975
Barbour334667
Marengo317778
Monroe306844
Butler305878
Pickens296166
Henry288550
Randolph288255
Hale282981
Cherokee275649
Fayette268569
Washington241844
Crenshaw226962
Clay219260
Macon211154
Cleburne205746
Lamar184638
Conecuh173337
Lowndes167856
Coosa160031
Wilcox153033
Bullock145642
Perry132430
Sumter122635
Greene117941
Choctaw71925
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