Tax Reform

We need to use the tax code to redistribute our over-concentration of wealth from the top 1% and large, multi-national corporations. I support reinstating estate and capital gains taxes at 1970s rates. Increase subsidies for solar, wind, geothermal, tidal energy. Stop subsidies for the petroleum, natural gas, and nuclear industries. All corporations should pay income taxes (60% of the large corporations currently pay no tax). End farm bill subsidies for grains that contribute to the national obesity epidemic and subsidize large agribusiness, and balance the market for fruits and vegetables.

Tax policy should be used as a driver to redistribute the extreme concentration of wealth in the hands of an elite few individuals and large, multi-national corporations, back to 99% of Americans to re-establish the middle class.  Currently, 1% of the population owns 60% of the wealth in the US, which is unconscionable.  The estate tax and the capital gains tax should be reinstated at the rates of the 1970s.  These were successful tools in protecting the middle class for decades, and their removal in the 1980s were a major reason for the rapid increase in over-concentration.

I will also support major reform of federal corporate taxation so the two-thirds of all US corporations that do not pay any US taxes, are taxed at a fair rate.  For instance, Prudential financial services giant had $3.5 billion in profits in 2014, and paid zero income tax.  I also support tax assistance to enable employee-owned companies, to build a more just, equal society, parallel to the residential mortgage interest deduction from the 1930s which encourages home ownership.

The tax system should support our emergency switch to renewable energy to reverse climate change. I support removing all tax subsidies for the petroleum, natural gas, and nuclear industries, including the Price Anderson Act shielding the nuclear industry from bearing its full cost.  I support tax subsidies for renewable energy as a minimum step in fighting climate change, since every second counts towards planetary survival. And Congress needs to end our massive farm bill tax subsidies for the four grains which are the basis of our snack foods, and instead provide a fair, free market for production of healthier fruits and vegetables.