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The American People, Not Corporations, Need a Bailout — Sanders’ Make Billionaires Pay Act Does Exactly That


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The American People, Not Corporations, Need a Bailout — Sanders’ Make Billionaires Pay Act Does Exactly That

With Unemployment Remaining Dire, Republicans Terminating Unemployment Benefits, and Inequality Climbing, It’s Time to Tax the Rich

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Yesterday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) proposed the Make Billionaires Pay Act, legislation that imposes a 60 percent tax on the $700 billion newly accumulated by America’s billionaires since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March. With unemployment still a staggering 6.7 points higher than it was before the pandemic, nearly 13 million fewer jobs today compared to before the pandemic, Republicans terminating desperately needed pandemic unemployment assistance, and inequality skyrocketing, Tax March joins several partners in endorsing Sen. Sanders’ Make Billionaires Pay Act. 

We’ve been saying it since we first marched in 2017, and the numbers telling the story of today’s pandemic economy demand we repeat ourselves: It’s time to tax the rich.

Today’s dismal jobs numbers are proof that Trump and McConnell care more about throwing money at corporations and wealthy individuals than giving any help to struggling American families,” said Tax March Executive Director Maura Quint. “Enough playing political hot potato with our lives. We’re tired of watching the rich get richer while millions of us remain unemployed without a lifeline. We’re tired of being faced with the impossible choice between saving our jobs or saving our own lives. That’s why Tax March is endorsing the Make Billionaires Pay Act — it’s time to tax the wealth that billionaires’ have hoarded while we’ve been struggling.”

But, Trump and Senate Republicans won’t budge. Exactly one week ago, Senate Republicans chose to let the crucial Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits expire. Since then, Senate Republicans and the Trump administration have refused to extend the financial lifeline, deliberately leaving behind millions of unemployed Americans who have relied on this $600 per week to house and feed their families. With more than 33 million people now set to receive unemployment insurance, Senate Republicans and the Trump administration must extend the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program at or above the original $600 per week amount. Without it, millions of Americans won’t be able to put food on the table and keep roofs over their heads.

What’s more, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is set to expire tomorrow. Throughout the pandemic, small businesses have struggled to stay afloat. Now, instead of providing direct aid to the American people, Trump and Republicans are prioritizing corporate wishlists over saving American small businesses. 

Under Trump’s leadership and with McConnell’s enthusiastic agreement, America’s pandemic economy has consistently bailed out corporations at the expense of workers and families. Time and money are running out for too many Americans. We need a pandemic wealth tax that redistributes billionaires’ unjust gains to the millions of Americans whose lives hang in the balance.

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