Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that “progressive taxation” was needed to fund President Joe Biden’s infrastructure package.
Sanders said, “I think what you saw is millions of people standing up, grassroots activists standing up saying, you know what? At a time of massive income wealth inequality, and this is a radical idea, just maybe government should represent the needs of the struggling working class and middle class and not just the 1% in wealthy campaign contributors. All over this country, people said, look, there are massive problems exacerbated by the pandemic, and I think President Biden looked around and said, you know what, we’ve got to address those problems, not worry about the rich and the powerful. So we are beginning to make some progress in dealing with issues that have been neglected for decades.”
He added, “I think, number one, most importantly, we have to deal with the crises facing this country. We have massive and wealth inequality. Half our people live on paycheck-to-paycheck. You have to raise the minimum wage to a living wage. We’ve got to do that. We have an infrastructure that’s collapsing. We have to address the existential threat of climate change. When you do that, chuck, when you make those investments, we create millions of good-paying jobs. We’re the only major country not to guarantee health care to all people as a right, the only major country not to have paid family and medical leave. We pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. Hundreds of thousands of kids can’t afford to go to college, and millions leave school deeply in debt. You know what? You’ve got to address those issues.”
Sanders added, “Meanwhile, you’ve got two people on top who own more wealth than the bottom 40% of America. You have major corporation after major corporation not paying one nickel in federal income tax. Warren Buffett, one of the richest guys in the world, reminds us that the effective tax rate for working families is higher than it is poured by the billionaire class. So in terms of pay for, yeah, I do think we need progressive taxation, which says to the very rich — Biden says the floor should be $400,000. Nobody under that should pay more in taxes. Yes, the very rich and large corporations should start paying their fair share of taxes to help us rebuild America.”
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