Saturday, March 12, 2016

152 MILLION REASONS AMERICA NEEDS BERNIE SANDERS

When Bernie Sanders talks about a "rigged" system favoring Millionaires and Billionaires at the expense of every one else this is what he's referring to;

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America’s 20 wealthiest people — a group that could fit in one Gulfstream G650 jet — are now worth $732 billion, which means they have more wealth than the 152 million people who make up the least wealthy 50% of U.S. households, according to a report released Wednesday by the Institute for Policy Studies. What’s more, the “Forbes 400” wealthiest individuals in the U.S. now have a net worth of $2.34 trillion.

“There is a growing concentration of wealth in fewer and fewer hands,” says Josh Hoxie, who heads up the Project on Opportunity and Taxation at the institute.

The report’s co-authors — Hoxie and Chuck Collins, a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank that focuses on economics, national security and human rights — propose several ways to close the gap between America’s ultra-wealthy and, well, everyone else. These policies include closing offshore tax havens and loopholes for the ultra-wealthy in the tax code that the wealthy exploit to hide their wealth. One of the biggest billionaire loopholes is the Grantor Retained Annuity Trust, which enable very wealthy families to pay little if any estate and gift tax on estates worth billions of dollars, Hoxie says. “There’s no reason why it should be used as a tax evasion mechanism,” he says. “It’s an unintended result of our tax code.”

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He also proposes a direct tax on wealth to generate trillions of dollars in new revenue.

A 1% tax on the wealthiest 1% of Americans would raise $2.6 trillion over 10 years, more than the federal government now spends on education and environmental protection combined, the report says, and a 1% tax exclusively on the Forbes 400 would raise $234 billion, which is more than the government spends on both its Head Start program, which provides early childhood education to over 800,000 low-income children, and the Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) program that provides nutrition assistance to over half of all infants born in the U.S.