WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — Democratic lawmakers want to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans and rolling back portions of the 2017 tax cuts.
In a Senate hearing, Senators Ben Ray Lujan and Bernie Sanders said the tax code is broken and some of the most well-off people and corporations dodge taxes by moving money offshore.
Gabriel Zucman, a professor of economics at Berkeley, said “the top 400 richest Americans” have the lowest effective tax rate.
“If we collected just a third, one-third, of the unpaid taxes of the very rich we could provide in this country and make public colleges and universities free, provide universal school meals to every child and guarantee clean drinking water to every person,” Sanders said.
Sanders introduced bills that would roll back the 2017 tax cuts by setting a progressive estate tax and by raising the corporate tax rate to 35%.
It would be a small step toward fighting income inequality, he said. The money would also help pay for the recent pandemic relief package and proposed infrastructure plan.
Some of the wealthiest Americans, like Disney heiress Abigail Disney, agree they should pay more.
“Those who have benefited more from society should pay more for its upkeep,” Disney said.
But South Carolina Republican Lindsay Graham promises the GOP won’t allow the tax hikes.
“I think our tax cuts in this country in 2017 were well designed,” Graham said. “They benefited everybody in the country and we will fight you.”