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My plan to un-rig the tax code

A country's tax code is a reflection of its values.

And right now, our tax system is rigged in favor of the super-wealthy.

Thanks to a network of loopholes and exemptions, people who live off of fat stock portfolios and trust funds get away without paying their fair share. Often, they don't pay anything at all.

And because they don't, the future of critical programs like Social Security is in jeopardy.

But there aren't any special rules for teachers, factory workers, firefighters, and the millions of working Americans who put in long hours to provide for their families – and who are counting on Social Security benefits when they retire.

This week, I released a comprehensive plan to overhaul the rigged tax code and replace it with one that works for all.

My plan's highlights:

  • Require millionaires and billionaires to pay taxes on capital gains income at the same rate as traditional wages.
  • Close loopholes that allow the super-rich to defer paying taxes until it's convenient for them, sometimes avoiding them altogether.
  • Invest trillions in lost tax revenue into Social Security to safeguard those benefits for American workers for years to come.

Recently, New York magazine reported that over the last 30 years, the net worth of the poorest 50 percent of American families dropped by $900 billion, while the net worth of America's top 1 percent increased by $21 trillion.

First and foremost, that's an indicator of how skewed in favor of the rich our economy has become after decades of Republican handouts to hedge fund managers and corporate raiders.

And still, Mitch McConnell and Republicans in Congress are fighting any attempt to hold the very wealthy to the same standard as everyone else.

That's not right. Billionaires don't need special loopholes. They need to pay their fair share. We need to change the system, and my proposal is the way to do it.


Posted on September 16, 2019.

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Ron Wyden & Jeff Merkley at a health care rallyRon Wyden is a champion for our progressive values -- standing up for consumers and the middle class, fighting for digital privacy and an open internet, protecting our planet and Oregon's special places, and always insisting on human rights and equality for all.

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