Tell Congress: End the Bracket Racket now

Tell Congress: End the Bracket Racket

The more money you make, the higher percentage you should pay.

Add new tax brackets, so people who make more than $1 million, $5 million all the way up to more than $100 million a year, pay progressively higher tax rates than everyone else, just like the U.S. had before on the highest incomes in the 1940s and 50s.

Not long ago, an extensive analysis of the American tax system, published in the book The Triumph of Injustice, showed that, when all taxes are taken into account, a household in the top 1% has a total tax rate essentially equal to a household in the bottom 50%.

That means a family with barely enough income to cover basic living expenses is paying the same rate in taxes as mega-millionaires and billionaires.

It’s unfair, unsustainable, and frankly, un-American.

Gone is the longstanding principle that those with larger incomes can and should pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes than those with lower incomes. Now, facing a tax code that contributes to, rather than shrinks, inequality, the only way forward is clear: We must change the way we tax the ultra-rich.

Our tax plan is simple: The more money you make, the higher percentage you pay.

That’s how our system has always worked best. In 1960, when inequality in America was near its lowest level, we had 26 income tax brackets. Today we have only seven. This radical scaledown was wrongheaded and it must be reversed.

We need to address the extreme concentration of wealth in America and reduce inequality in our tax system. That’s why we’ve proposed adding new tax brackets, starting with a 50% rate on income between $1 million and $5 million and progressing to a 90% rate on all income over $100 million, like the U.S. once had on the highest incomes in the 1940s and 50s.

Our plan is fair. Any person subject to a marginal tax rate greater than 50% will have already received -- in just one year -- income greater than most Americans receive in their entire lifetime. If we end the bracket racket, the ultra-rich will finally pay what they owe just like everyone else already does.

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