CREDO Action

Tax the super-rich. Pass a millionaires surtax.

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Petition to Congress:

"Pass the millionaires surtax, sponsored by Sens. Brown and Van Hollen and Rep. Don Beyer."

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    Tax the super-rich. Pass a millionaires surtax.

    America's super-rich have turned our democracy into an oligarchy. Instead of every vote mattering, the richest handful of American oligarchs use their money to distort elections and make government serve them.1

    They use their wealth and power to buy politicians and push for policies like the Trump tax scam. And their investments are paying off — the richest of the rich actually pay lower tax rates than the rest of us since they supercharge their wealth with investments that are taxed at a much lower rate.2

    Sens. Sherrod Brown and Chris Van Hollen and Rep. Don Beyer just introduced legislation to impose a surtax on all millionaires. The millionaires surtax will make sure the super-rich pay their fair share, help fund services for working people – and make our democracy work for the 99 percent again.

    Tell Congress: Tax the super-rich. Pass a millionaires surtax.

    The wealthiest few pay less in taxes the richer they get. That's because the top tax bracket kicks in at $450,000 dollars, and the tax rate for investment income is just 15 percent. The richer people get, the more their income comes from investments and Wall Street speculation instead of working for a living, and the lower rate they pay overall. So a Fortune 500 CEO raking in money from Wall Street trades pays a lower tax rate than a doctor making $500,000 each year – and a far lower tax rate than the working people who make giant corporations profitable.3

    A millionaire surtax is a great way to crack down on this injustice. It would:4

    • Narrowly target millionaires. The millionaires surtax adds an extra 10 percentage point tax to the .2% of individuals making more than $1 million, or $2 million for married couples. That would have applied to just 329,000 tax filers in 2019, leaving taxes untouched for 98.8 percent of people.
    • Tax all income equally. No longer would millionaires pay a lower tax rate than their assistants. The millionaire surtax applies equally to income from wages and salaries and income from capital gains and dividends – covering a CEO's sky-high salary as well as his investment portfolio.
    • Make government work for working people. A super-majority of Americans of all parties support the millionaires surtax. Even a majority of millionaires supports taxing the richest of the rich. The surtax could raise more than $635 million over the next decade that could go into services for working people and public benefits that help all of us.

    Trump ran for office promising to 'drain the swamp,' then turned around and gave the Wall Street swamp a massive tax cut. Progressives need to show what true populism really looks like by rallying behind simple, commonsense ideas to make the richest of the rich pay their fair share. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders helped put this idea on the map as part of the presidential campaigns, and now we need to show that making the super-rich pay their fair share has massive support.

    Tell Congress: Tax the super-rich. Pass a millionaires surtax.

    Thank you for speaking out.

    References:

    1. Josh Bivens, "Restraining the power of the rich with a 10 percent surtax on incomes over $2 million," Economic Policy Institute, April 12, 2019.
    2. Ibid.
    3. Americans for Tax Fairness, "Millionaires Surtax Background," Millionaires Surtax, Nov. 4, 2019.
    4. Ibid.