Bernie Sanders says income over $1bn should be taxed 100%
In an interview with journalist Chris Wallace, the Vermont senator warned against unrestrained capitalism.
Bernie Sanders, the left-leaning senator from Vermont, declared late last week that the US government should seize 100% of any income earned by Americans exceeding $999 million.
In a conversation with Chris Wallace on Friday night's episode of Who's Talking to Chris Wallace on HBO Max, Sanders shared this viewpoint following a sweeping claim that billionaires shouldn't exist, which was made in his book It's OK to Be Angry on Capitalism.
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Matthews asked Sanders if he was essentially arguing that "after you get $999 million, the government should confiscate all the rest"? Matthews asked Sanders, who also serves in the Democratic caucus and helped the party win a narrow upper chamber majority.
“Yeah,” Sanders replied. “You may disagree with me but, fine, I think people can make it on $999m. I think that they can survive just fine.”
Wallace has previously discussed how the late Sam Walton's family's estimated $225 billion wealth allowed him to turn the enormous retail company Walmart into the largest single private employer in the US. Despite the wealth of the Waltons, Sanders argued that Walmart frequently pays its 2.1 million employees starvation wages.
“Many of their workers are on Medicaid or food stamps,” Sanders referred to forms of government assistance that low-income Americans can qualify for.
“In other words, taxpayers are subsidizing the wealthiest family in the country. Do I think that’s right? No, I don’t.”
Sanders explained that his comments were not a personal attack on billionaires or the Waltons but rather an attack against the system itself.
“You can have a vibrant economy without [a few] people owning more wealth than the bottom half of American society” combined, he asserted.
The Vermont Senator further said that if he were in power people who made "a lot of money" were going to pay "a whole lot of money."
In his aforementioned book, he makes a number of observations, including the fact that 10% of US citizens hold 90% of the country's wealth.
Additionally, he contends that unbridled capitalism destroys anything that stands in the way of the pursuit of profits, such as the environment, democracy, and human rights.
In an interview with Wallace on Friday, Sanders explained that while he thought "people who work hard and create businesses should be rich," the idea of certain individuals becoming billionaires severely irritated him, given that 500,000 Americans are homeless and 85 million of them cannot afford health care.