Extreme wealth tax proposed to combat the threat to democracy posed by aristocracy

Lisa McCormick with Wilma Campbell, Alex Lospinoso and Sylvia Turnage

New Jersey Democrat Lisa McCormick has expressed support for legislation that would tax extreme wealth to reduce inequality and combat the threat to democracy posed by an increasingly powerful new aristocracy.

Representatives Summer Lee (PA-12), Barbara Lee (CA-12), Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), and Rashida Tlaib (MI-12) introduced the Oppose Limitless Inequality Growth and Reverse Community Harm (OLIGARCH) Act, which would impose a 2% annual tax on the wealth of households worth more than $50 million.

McCormick said revenue generated by the tax would be used to fund programs that benefit working families and communities and she is asking Americans to sign a petition to help move the measure forward.

“I believe that the OLIGARCH Act is a bold and necessary step to address the growing problem of income inequality in our country,” said McCormick, who earned four in ten votes in New Jersey’s 2018 Democratic US Senate primary. “We need to take action to ensure that our economy works for everyone, not just the wealthy few.”

McCormick is one of a growing number of progressive Democrats who are calling for action to address income inequality. In recent years, the gap between the rich and the poor has widened significantly in the United States.

The top 1% of earners now own more wealth than the bottom 90% combined.

The OLIGARCH Act is one of a number of proposals that have been put forward to address income inequality. Other proposals include raising the minimum wage, expanding access to affordable healthcare, and making college more affordable.

“Oligarchy is blocking climate justice, racial justice, Medicare for All, Student Loan Forgiveness, worker power, fully funded public schools, fair pay for teachers, and reflective democracy.,” said Congresswoman Summer Lee, a Pennsylvania Democrat who claimed the legislation has a mandate from nearly ¾ of Americans – Democrats, Republicans and independents – who want the wealthiest to pay higher taxes.

“Inequality in the United States is worse in 2023 than it was during the Gilded Age,” said California Congresswoman Barbara Lee. “It is unacceptable that millions of hardworking people remain impoverished, while the top 0.1% hold over 20% of the nation’s wealth” “

“This is the solution we need to close the exorbitant wealth gap in America and create a tax system where everyone pays their fair share because extreme wealth is not just a source of economic injustice, but a severe threat to democracy,” said McCormick.

“In the wealthiest country in the history of the world, no one should struggle to put food on the table and afford healthcare while billionaires fly around in their private jets and CEOs make hundreds of millions of dollars a year,” said Congressman Jamaal Bowman.

“This bill has been endorsed by Americans for Democratic Action (ADA), American Family Voices, Americans for Tax Fairness, Center for Popular Democracy, Coalition on Human Needs, Demand Progress, Economic Policy Institute, HedgeClippers, Institute for Policy Studies-Program on Inequality, Main Street Alliance, MoveOn, Our Revolution, Oxfam, People’s Action, Patriotic Millionaires, Progressive Democrats of America, Responsible Wealth Project of United for a Fair Economy, Social Security Works, Strong Economy for All Coalition, Take on Wall Street, Unrig Our Economy,” said McCormick.

A word usually associated with deranged Russian oil tycoons, oligarchy is front and center in many Americans’ minds thanks to a study by researchers at Princeton and Northwestern.

Their analysis of 1,779 recent policy outcomes found that “economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy,” while average citizens “have little or no independent influence.”

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