Voters Want Tax Day To Look Different for Billionaires
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Author: Amy Matsui
Date of source:
Common Dreams

Women and families shouldn’t have to struggle to meet caregiving needs while billionaires buy their third yacht and mega corporations see record profits. This Tax Day, while most of us are stressing about filing our tax returns correctly, many billionaires will laugh all the way to the bank as they pay a lower tax rate than their secretaries.

New polling from the National Women’s Law Center and MomsRising shows us that respondents are sick of this status quo, and that they overwhelmingly support raising taxes on the richest to invest in care priorities.

For years, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have insisted that if we give tax cuts to those at the top, everyone will feel the benefits. Fifty years of research has decidedly disproven this theory.

Imagine instead a tax system where the richest pay their fair share, which allows us to invest in our shared priorities.

Tax giveaways for the wealthiest and biggest corporations don’t create jobs or raise salaries; instead, they help pad bonuses for top executives and boost payouts for wealthy shareholders. And in some cases, profitable companies can avoid paying federal taxes entirely.

Meanwhile, families are struggling to hold it together.

Childcare prices h+ave continued to surge as childcare programs grapple with waning resources after the expiration of federal childcare funding in September.

Women, and predominantly women in low-paid work, are forced to choose between caring for a loved one or keeping their job.

And a lack of robust public investment has decimated our ability to provide good quality home and community-based care for aging and disabled people.

Furthermore, the people who work in these care roles and who are—you guessed it—predominantly women, are driven into poverty or out of the workforce by unsustainable wages and poor working conditions.

Yet, instead of collecting more tax revenue from those at the top so that we can invest in our chronically underfunded care systems, Republicans have decided to double down on the disastrous course of more tax cuts for the wealthiest.

All of us will need to care for ourselves or a family member at some point in our lives, and many of us provide care for a living. If the wealthiest individuals and corporations simply paid their fair share in taxes, there would be more than enough to invest in childcare, paid leave, and aging and disability care, which would help our families and our economy thrive.

President Joe Biden knows this. Just last month, he stood before Congress and declared: “If you want to make—or can make—a million or millions of bucks, that’s great. Just pay your fair share in taxes.”

He proposed a minimum tax of 25% on billionaires, which would raise $500 billion in 10 years, and called for investing that revenue in paid leave, home care, and childcare.

It’s no surprise that line prompted thunderous applause. The president knows that connecting taxes to the investments that would make a difference in the lives of women and families is a winning message. New polling from the National Women’s Law Center and MomsRising found that nearly 80% of respondents were supportive of increasing investments in the caregiving agenda by raising taxes on the wealthiest and big corporations.

Women are disproportionately burdened by our lack of equitable caregiving investments, and this polling reaffirms that focusing on how taxes can support gender justice priorities could sway voters to Biden’s side. For instance, two key voting demographics, Black women and Gen Z women, consistently and strongly support the care agenda that President Biden is pushing according to this poll.

In stark contrast, the Republican candidate, former President Donald Trump, has been privately talking about cutting the corporate tax rate even further, similar to what he did in his 2017 Republican-passed tax bill, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This is not only a terrible idea for our country and our economy, but also for his campaign.

The new survey results showed that two-thirds of voters across party lines agreed that we need to get rid of the disastrous 2017 tax cuts for the wealthiest, a sentiment that is consistent with poll after poll over the past five years.

Since this bill was signed into law, billionaire wealth has increased by more than $2 trillion (a 77% increase) at a time when the child poverty rate has more than doubled. What’s more, since 2017, this tax law exploded the national debt and decimated federal tax revenue.

Imagine instead a tax system where the richest pay their fair share, which allows us to invest in our shared priorities. That’s the future tax code that President Biden wants to create. And our polling shows that voters overwhelmingly want to increase investments in the care priorities that families need by raising taxes on the wealthiest.

Tax Day may be in April, but voters will be thinking about taxes until November.


Amy K. Matsui is director of income security and senior counsel at the National Women’s Law Center Action Fund. She works on a broad range of economic issues affecting low- and moderate-income women and families, with special emphasis on federal and state tax policy. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, and Stanford Law School.

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