Sens. Bernie Sanders, Kirsten Gillibrand and Ed Markey have introduced a new bill to implement 60% tax on billionaires to cover the health care costs of every American for a year.
The Make Billionaires Pay Act would tax the $731 billion in wealth accumulated by the richest 0.001% of America between March 18 through August 5. This would apply towards 467 individuals.
“The legislation I am introducing today will tax the obscene wealth gains billionaires have made during this extraordinary crisis to guarantee healthcare as a right to all for an entire year,” Sen. Sanders said in a statement.
“At a time of enormous economic pain and suffering, we have a fundamental choice to make.
“We can continue to allow the very rich to get much richer while everyone else gets poorer and poorer.
“Or we can tax the winnings a handful of billionaires made during the pandemic to improve the health and well-being of tens of millions of Americans,” she added.
“In my view,” Sanders added, “it is time for the Senate to act on behalf of the working class who are hurting like they have never hurt before, not the billionaire class who are doing phenomenally well and have never had it so good.”
The Make Billionaires Pay Act would cover all medical bills, including prescription drugs and coronavirus-related expenses, over the next 12 months with the tax staying in effect until January 1, 2021.
“Instead of more tax breaks for the rich while more Americans die because they cannot afford to go to a doctor, let us expand Medicare and save lives by demanding that billionaires pay their fair share of taxes,” Sanders said.
The popular senator also lambasted the fact that CEOs like Bezos and Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk saw their net worth surge during the pandemic — Bezos’ wealth increased by 63% while Musk’s nearly tripled.
In that same period of time, over 5 million Americans have lost their employer-sponsored health care.
And although President Trump pledged to reimburse hospitals for any coronavirus-related expenses for the uninsured, that still leaves non-coronavirus expenditures that could add up.
“During this unprecedented economic and public health crisis, millions of Americans are out of work and struggling to put food on the table while billionaires are getting even wealthier,” Gillibrand said in a statement.
“Requiring billionaires to pay their fair share will help support workers and families dealing with job losses, food insecurity, housing instability and health care.
Not only is this a common-sense proposal, but it’s a moral one and Congress should be doing all we can to assist Americans struggling right now.