California Congressman Jimmy Gomez on Friday introduced legislation in the Democrat-controlled U.S. House that aims to address “our country’s rapidly increasing wealth inequality by strengthening the estate tax and ensuring the wealthiest among us pay their fair share.”
“Trust fund babies who have done nothing to earn their wealth besides being born into the right family have no right to pay a lower tax rate on their millions than hard-working Americans do on the income that they work for.”
—Charlie Simmons, Patriotic Millionaires
The For the 99.8% Act would impose a progressive tax on the estates of the richest Americans. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, introduced the companion bill in the Republican-controlled Senate in January.
Under the bill, “the families of all 588 billionaires in America would owe up to $2.2 trillion in estate taxes, amounting to revenue that can be used to address critical needs for working families and the most vulnerable among us,” according to Gomez’s office.
“The ever-widening gap between the ultra-rich and the rest of us has reached alarming proportions and demands a strong legislative response,” Gomez, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, said in a statement. “No longer can we allow this structural power imbalance—one where the billionaire-class hoards the very wealth working families helped to create—define our nation’s values and priorities.”
Gomez also thanked Sanders “for joining me in our shared mission to level the economic playing field for the working-class and transform our economy into one that works for every American.”
“No longer can we allow this structural power imbalance… define our nation’s values and priorities.”
—Rep. Jimmy Gomez
“We are facing levels of inequality not seen since the Gilded Age of the robber barons, where the top one-tenth of one percent owns about as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent,” Sanders said Friday. “The richest 400 billionaires pay lower taxes than everyone else. In my view, this obscene inequality in wealth and political power is not compatible with a democratic society.”
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