Contrary to Republican claims, the United States is one of the lowest-tax countries in the world– U.S. corporations and wealthy citizens pay far less in taxes than other developed nations. Since 1950, capital gains taxes have dropped 10 percent, tax rates for million-dollar households have decreased 10 percent since the mid-nineties, and the estate tax has virtually disappeared for those with the largest fortunes since the onset of the Bush presidency. Four simple solutions would close that $4 trillion budget gap in the next decade, without even touching Social Security or Medicare.
By passing laws like Sen. Carl Levin’s Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act, we could generate over $100 billion in new revenue from closing loopholes that allow corporations to shift profits to overseas bank accounts. Through modest taxation of speculative Wall Street trading, we could bring in another $150 billion per year. With higher income tax brackets for households earning over $1 million annually, as Rep. Jan Schakowsky has proposed, we would gain another $100 billion. And progressively taxing estates worth $5 million or more would mean an extra $45 billion in tax revenue.
A truly principled leader would refuse to negotiate with terrorists, and allow them to turn the gun on themselves. Our President needs to stand firmly behind these common-sense proposals, and remove from the table any cuts to the programs we’ve spent our lives funding from our own paychecks. No exceptions.