Democratic senators introduce bill taxing billionaires who are making large profits during the pandemic

Several senators propose a bill to provide healthcare for all with money made by the 1 percent during the Covid-19 crisis.

On Wednesday, Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Ed Markey (D-MA), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) introduced the Make Billionaires Pay Act, a piece of legislation taxing the 467 billionaires in the US a 60% rate for money made from March 18 until August 5. If passed, the wealth tax would continue until January 2021.

“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 of a handful of billionaires made during the pandemic to improve the health and well-being of tens of millions of Americans”’ said Sen. Sanders.

While 40 million Americans filed for unemployment during the pandemic, and 40 million renters facing eviction, Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, is estimated to have made $74 billion since this January. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla tripled his wealth during the pandemic. In total, America’s billionaires banked over half a trillion dollars as millions of the working poor bottom out further.

A study by the estimates that the one-time tax will roughly amount to $421.7 billion. Here’s what it would look like if the top billionaires were to pay a wealth tax under this legislation.

  • Jeff Bezos, $42.8 billion.
  • Elon Musk, $27.5 billion.
  • Mark Zuckerberg, $22.8 billion.
  • The Walton family, $12.9 billion.

“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,” said Sen. Gillibrand.

The GOP-majority Senate will likely not move on this piece of legislation. “Despite overwhelming need, Republicans continue to look for any excuse under the guise of deficit reduction to cut vital support programs like jobless aid and health insurance for the most vulnerable,” said Sen. Markey who also said that the Trump Administration acted in “criminal negligence” in inadequately combating the coronavirus.

Currently, White House officials and the Democrats are in tense negotiations regarding the second stimulus package. However, minimal progress has been made since the Senate passed their June proposal a month after the House. What makes Americans worried is that the Senate is scheduled to start their summer recess on August 10. The break will last until after Labor Day in the beginning of September.

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