December 11, 2019

Based on a Hart Research poll conducted in October 2019

We face two big obstacles, among others, to creating an economy that works for all of us.

  • First, the gap between the rich and everyone else keeps getting wider. While those at the top are soaring way ahead, working families are struggling.
  • Second, the wealthy and corporations are not paying their fair share of taxes. If they did, we could raise trillions of dollars needed to protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and to make new investments in healthcare, education, housing, childcare, infrastructure and clean renewable energy.

To create an economy that works for all of us, we need a Fair Share Tax System that benefits all of us, not just the wealthy few.

A good place to start is a Millionaires Surtax. It would raise a lot of money—$635 billion over 10 years. [Tax Policy Center]

  • It would do this by raising the tax rate only on the very wealthiest people. Unless you are married and make over $2 million a year (or are single and make over $1 million), you will not pay the surtax.
  • The Millionaires Surtax will not increase taxes for 99.8 percent of taxpayers. It just asks the richest 0.2 percent to begin to pay their fair share.
  • The surtax would add 10-percentage points to the top tax rates the wealthy pay now.
  • The surtax would apply to all forms of income. It would be paid on income from wages and salaries as well as income from wealth from stock and other investments.
  • So, wealthy CEOs and Wall Street bankers will pay a bit more, to fund investments in healthcare, education, and infrastructure that benefit all Americans.

The Millionaires Surtax will improve the lives of working families.

  • The $635 billion the Millionaires Surtax will raise can help protect and improve Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
  • The $635 billion can help fund new investments that benefit working families like helping people afford healthcare, improving public education, making college more affordable, rebuilding our roads and bridges, and investing in clean renewable energy sources.
  • The Millionaires Surtax will help create an economy that works for all of us by making the wealthy pay their fair share. They got huge tax breaks from the Trump-GOP tax cuts. It’s time to stop giving the rich handouts while the rest of us pick up the tab.

The Millionaires Surtax is supported by 3 out of 4 voters. According to a Hart Research poll, 73% of all voters support the Millionaires Surtax, as do independents (76% support) and moderates (76% support). Even most Trump voters (57%) and Republicans (53%) favor it.

The Millionaires Surtax would be easy to implement and enforce.

  • That’s because it is added onto the existing tax rates under the current tax system. It does not require a major overhaul of the tax system or the creation of a big new tax.
  • The surtax does not provide loopholes for the wealthy to avoid the tax. The very wealthy will be less able to game the system since the surtax applies equally to all forms of income.

We need a Millionaires Surtax because the rigged tax system is widening the gap between the wealthy and everyone else, pulling us farther apart and threatening our democracy.

  • The richest 0.1% own more wealth than the bottom 80% of households. [ Post]
  • The richest 1% own more than the bottom 90%. [Center for American Progress]
  • Such concentrated wealth and income buy outsized political influence. This leads to tax cuts and other giveaways that make the rich even richer, further boosting their political power, and so on in a continuing cycle.

America faces a clear choice in 2020: Continue to hand out tax cuts to corporations and the wealthy few or make the rich pay their fair share so we can invest in America’s future and create an economy that works for all of us.

  • The Trump-GOP tax cuts in 2017 gave massive handouts to huge corporations and wealthy CEOs on Wall Street, not to workers and small businesses on Main Street. This contributed to the largest income and wealth gaps we’ve seen since before the Great Depression and exploded the budget deficit.

America needs a different direction: Ask the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share, so we can strengthen Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and make investments that improve the lives of working families.