EDITOR’S NOTE: Each week we cross-post an excerpt from Katrina vanden Heuvel’s column at the WashingtonPost.com. Read the full text of Katrina’s column here.
As Democrats begin the push to invest $3.5 trillion to combat climate change, expand Medicare, ensure child care for working families and more, the age-old question is being repeated in Congress and the media: How are you going to pay for that?
Progressives can answer that question—and address the United States’ massive and widening inequality gap—with a one-time 99 percent tax on billionaires’ pandemic profits. Oxfam, the Fight Inequality Alliance, the Institute for Policy Studies and Patriotic Millionaires point out that this single tax could raise enough to vaccinate every person on the planet and give $20,000 to all unemployed workers. And don’t worry—even after a 99 percent tax, the billionaires would still be $55 billion richer than they were before the pandemic.
If working families were treading water before, the pandemic pushed their heads underwater. Nearly one-third of lower-income Americans say their financial situation has worsened since the pandemic began. Today, more than 11 million people are behind on rent, and 20 million are not getting enough to eat. Record numbers are resorting to grocery shopping at dollar stores.
Read the full text of Katrina’s column here.