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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%."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 604509

Reported Deaths: 7638
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1249671779
Ramsey52513897
Dakota46840471
Anoka42774458
Washington27428291
Stearns22557225
St. Louis18138313
Scott17551136
Wright16379149
Olmsted13399102
Sherburne1202095
Carver1067448
Clay826192
Rice8202110
Blue Earth762644
Crow Wing681795
Kandiyohi667985
Chisago619952
Otter Tail585884
Benton582998
Goodhue483874
Douglas475581
Mower470533
Winona461351
Itasca459763
Isanti440064
McLeod430661
Morrison424762
Beltrami407861
Nobles407650
Steele397816
Polk389072
Becker386755
Lyon363853
Carlton353056
Freeborn347033
Pine334923
Nicollet331245
Mille Lacs311854
Brown307840
Le Sueur297326
Cass286232
Todd285633
Meeker263443
Waseca238023
Martin235332
Roseau211221
Wabasha20793
Hubbard196641
Dodge18783
Renville182446
Redwood176539
Houston174616
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Wadena163323
Fillmore157610
Faribault154719
Chippewa154038
Pennington153820
Kanabec146828
Sibley146810
Aitkin138937
Watonwan13579
Rock128719
Jackson122712
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Pope11306
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Swift106918
Koochiching95418
Stevens92411
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Marshall88817
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Wilkin83213
Lac qui Parle75622
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Grant5948
Lincoln5853
Mahnomen5669
Norman5479
Kittson49022
Unassigned48193
Red Lake4017
Traverse3775
Lake of the Woods3453
Cook1720

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 371101

Reported Deaths: 6053
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk58263640
Linn21221339
Scott20308248
Black Hawk16157312
Woodbury15240230
Johnson1462385
Dubuque13510211
Dallas1129199
Pottawattamie11228174
Story1071648
Warren583791
Clinton561593
Cerro Gordo554095
Sioux517574
Webster515894
Muscatine4882106
Marshall486976
Des Moines467672
Wapello4338122
Buena Vista426940
Jasper421172
Plymouth403181
Lee382356
Marion366076
Jones300957
Henry294637
Bremer288461
Carroll287152
Boone268634
Crawford268240
Benton259855
Washington257351
Dickinson249344
Mahaska232651
Jackson225242
Clay216727
Kossuth216166
Tama212071
Delaware211143
Winneshiek198735
Page194522
Buchanan194033
Cedar192423
Hardin187544
Fayette186643
Wright186040
Hamilton181951
Harrison180073
Clayton171057
Butler166335
Madison164619
Mills163824
Floyd163442
Cherokee159338
Lyon158841
Poweshiek157036
Allamakee152952
Hancock150334
Iowa149824
Winnebago144531
Cass139255
Calhoun138913
Grundy137233
Emmet135841
Jefferson133535
Shelby131837
Sac130920
Union130035
Louisa129649
Appanoose129049
Mitchell126643
Chickasaw124917
Franklin123523
Guthrie123332
Humboldt119626
Palo Alto113623
Howard105022
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Clarke100924
Keokuk96732
Monroe96431
Unassigned9540
Ida91535
Adair87332
Pocahontas85822
Davis85225
Monona82931
Osceola78916
Greene78011
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Worth7618
Taylor66812
Fremont6269
Decatur6169
Ringgold56424
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Wayne54423
Audubon53311
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