Consolidation of wealth at the very top, Ingraham observes, “is eroding security from families in the lower and middle classes, who rely on their small stores of wealth to finance their retirement and to smooth over economic shocks like the loss of a job. And it’s consolidating power in the hands of the nation’s billionaires, who are increasingly using their riches to purchase political influence.”
Zucman’s research comes as members of Congress and 2020 presidential candidates are pushing a variety of plans to begin reducing America’s staggering wealth and income inequality by raising taxes on those at the very top.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who officially launched her 2020 presidential campaign on Saturday, has proposed an annual tax of two percent on assets over $50 million.
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Last month, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)—who is reportedly close to announcing his 2020 candidacy—introduced the the For the 99.8% Act, which would establish a 77 percent tax on all estates over $1 billion.
And Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) has suggested imposing a top marginal tax rate of 70 percent on those who make over $10 million.
Pointing to polling data showing that 76 percent of Americans believe the rich should pay more in taxes, Indivisible’s Chad Bolt concluded: “Raising taxes on the wealthy isn’t just good policy. It’s also good politics.”
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