Sanders Unveils Estate Tax Plan, Joining Democrats Who Want to Tax the Rich

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a potential Democratic presidential candidate known for far-left stances on issues of economic inequality, introduced legislation on Thursday that would increase the number of wealthy Americans subject to the estate tax.

With the bill, Mr. Sanders joins a growing chorus of left-wing politicians calling for new ways to tax the rich. Last week, Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts senator who has announced her 2020 candidacy, introduced a plan for a so-called ultramillionaire tax on households with a net worth of $50 million or more. And Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York recently proposed a 70 percent top rate on income over $10 million a year, intensifying the conversation within the Democratic Party about tax policies aimed at addressing income inequality.

In his plan, Mr. Sanders proposed applying an estate tax when someone leaves assets worth more than $3.5 million to his or her heirs, the same level as in 2009. The plan significantly lowers the threshold under the current tax law, passed in late 2017, which raised the amount an individual is allowed to transfer before facing any estate tax to roughly $11 million; couples can pass on twice that much.

The tax-the-rich proposals, including the one introduced by Mr. Sanders, are designed to increase revenue to pay for expanded social programs like “Medicare for all.’’

Though Mr. Sanders, 77, has not yet announced he is running for president, he appears to be actively moving toward a 2020 campaign.

Republicans, for their part, have repeatedly tried to thwart efforts to broaden the estate tax, which they call the “death tax.” President Trump has described the estate tax as “crushing,” “horrible,” and “unfair,” and on Monday, three Republican senators including Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, introduced legislation to permanently repeal the estate tax. Mr. Trump and other opponents of the estate tax have positioned a repeal as a way to help farmers, ranchers and small business owners

Mr. Sanders’s estate tax plan, which he said would affect the wealthiest 0.2 percent of Americans, is similar to one he introduced during his 2016 presidential campaign, when he finished second to Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary race. Mr. Sanders also supports the idea of a wealth tax, which he outlined in a list of financing options for “Medicare for all.”

In addition to expanding the number of Americans affected by the estate tax, Mr. Sanders’s plan establishes different tax rates depending on the size of the inheritance. An estate valued from $3.5 million to $10 million would be taxed at a rate of 45 percent, for instance. A top rate of 77 percent would be levied on estates valued in excess of $1 billion.

The plan would also end tax breaks for so-called dynasty trusts, which allow the wealthiest Americans to transfer their wealth from generation to generation for hundreds of years without paying estate or gift taxes.

“Instead of repealing the estate tax as Sen. McConnell proposed this week, we need to substantially increase the estate tax on the wealthiest families in America and reduce wealth inequality in America,’’ Mr. Sanders said in a statement. “We need a tax system which asks the billionaire class to pay its fair share of taxes and which reduces the obscene level of wealth inequality in America.”

Source link

more recommended stories

  • On Politics: Complete Coverage of the Mueller Report

    • Here are four dramatic passages.

  • Democrats Draw Closer to a Dicey Question: Whether to Impeach Trump

    WASHINGTON — House Democrats, facing some.

  • Right, Left and Center React to the Mueller Report

    Now that it is over, he.

  • Highlights: Barr Defends Trump Before Releasing Mueller Report – Video

    Channels & Shows Home Search U.S..

  • Watch Live: Barr Speaks Before Mueller Report Is Made Public – Video

    Channels & Shows Home Search U.S..

  • Democrats Are United on Climate Change, but Not on What to Do About It

    For Democrats vying to unseat President.

  • On Politics: Mueller Report to Be Released Today

    Good Thursday morning. Here are some.

  • Terry McAuliffe Will Not Run for President

    WASHINGTON — Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

  • E.P.A. Moves to ‘Close the Door’ on Asbestos. Consumer Groups Say Loopholes Remain.

    Want climate news in your inbox?.

  • On ‘Made in America,’ Trump’s F.T.C. Appointees May Be Out of Step With Him

    Two more companies, Sandpiper and PiperGear,.

  • In New Effort to Deter Migrants, Barr Withholds Bail to Asylum Seekers

    WASHINGTON — The Trump administration on.

  • Julián Castro Needs a Defining Moment. Has It Already Passed?

    Because Mr. Castro never ran for.

  • On Politics: Trump’s United Base of America

    While other presidents sought to broaden.

  • Court Rejects 2 Years of Judge’s Decisions in Cole Tribunal

    This article was produced in partnership.

  • How to Cover 2020: Assume Nothing and Beware of Twitter

    CHICAGO — Journalists have no idea.

  • For Democrats, Ilhan Omar Is a Complicated Figure to Defend

    WASHINGTON — When President Trump tweeted.

  • Gina Haspel Relies on Spy Skills to Connect With Trump. He Doesn’t Always Listen.

    WASHINGTON — Gina Haspel was trying.

  • Mick Mulvaney’s Master Class in Destroying the Government From Within

    The new agency had the feel.

  • On Politics: Trump’s Trade Style Could Cost U.S.

    • Oil purchases by China and.

  • The Rematch: Bernie Sanders vs. a Clinton Loyalist

    The blowup reflects ideological divisions among.

  • Trump Says He Will Give Tiger Woods the Presidential Medal of Freedom

    A day after Tiger Woods won.

  • Pete Buttigieg’s Campaign Kickoff: Full Speech, Annotated

    Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South.

  • What’s a Feminist Government? Canada, and Trudeau, Grapple With the Question

    “I know some women who are.

  • Want to Escape Global Warming? These Cities Promise Cool Relief

    “We’re not seeing worse heat waves.

  • On Politics: Mayor Pete, the College Years

    • What drove Mr. Trump’s recent.

  • Trump’s 2020 Campaign Raises Over $30 Million in First Quarter

    President Trump raised more than $30.

  • Face It: You (Probably) Got a Tax Cut

    Studies consistently find that the 2017.

  • Mitch McConnell, Never a Grandstander, Learns to Play by Trump’s Rules

    WASHINGTON — President Trump was walking.

  • How Kamala Harris’s Income Compares to Those of Other Candidates

    Senator Kamala Harris of California disclosed.

  • Pete Buttigieg’s Focus: Storytelling First. Policy Details Later.

    Mr. Buttigieg has stirred suspicion among.

  • Julian Assange: Friend and Foe to Left and Right

    Over the years, the WikiLeaks founder.

  • Mnuchin Says China Trade Talks Are Nearing Final Round

    WASHINGTON — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.