Posted by: Heinz Brisske

Bernie Sanders, an Independent Senator from Vermont, has introduced a bill that would increase the estate tax on the very wealthy. Sanders has been an ardent critic of the growing wealth inequality in the United States. He was quoted as saying: “A nation will not survive morally or economically when so few have so much while so many have so little. We need a tax system which asks the billionaire class to pay its fair share of taxes and which reduces the obscene degree of wealth inequality in America.” Sanders then pointed out that the Walton family, which owns Wal-Mart, has more wealth than the bottom 40 percent of Americans. He said that wealth inequality is one of the major issues facing the country.

Sanders’ bill, S2899, proposes increasing the tax rate to 40% for estates valued at between $3.5 million and $10 million, increasing it to 50% on estate worth between $10 million and $50 million, and increasing the estate tax rate to 55% on estates with a value in excess of $50 million. The bill would also create a 10% surtax on estates over $1 billion in value. There would be no estate tax on estates up to $3.5 million for a single individual, or $7 million for couples under his proposal.