At Hearing, Warren Delivers Remarks on Tax System Fairness
While chairing her first Senate Finance subcommittee hearing, Warren made the case for her proposals a Wealth Tax, Real Corporate Profits Tax, and a mandatory funding stream for the IRS to ensure the wealthy and big corporations pay their fair share.
"These three big ideas alone would raise more than $6 trillion, enough to pay for every single penny of President Biden's American Jobs Plan, then pay for every single penny of his American Families Plan, and still have more than $2T left over."
Washington, D.C. - Today, during her first hearing as chair of the Senate Finance Committee's Subcommittee on Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Growth, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) delivered remarks on how a fairer tax system can bring in trillions in revenue to create more opportunities for Americans. Senator Warren also made the case for three of her proposals, including implementing a wealth tax, a real corporate profits tax, and legislation to provide a mandatory funding stream for the IRS to ensure that the wealthy and big corporations are paying their fair share. She also highlighted that her proposals would help raise more than $6 trillion, enough to pay for President Biden's American Jobs Plan, the American Families Plan, and still have more than $2 trillion left over.
Following Senator Warren's remarks, CEO Abigail Disney, small business owner Cheryl Straughter, and professor and tax expert David Gamage will testify.
U.S. Senate Finance Committee's Subcommittee on Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Growth - "Creating Opportunity Through a Fairer Tax System"
Tuesday, April 27, 2021
Senator Warren: Good afternoon. Welcome to this year's first hearing of the Finance Committee's Subcommittee on Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Growth. I want to thank our Ranking Member, Senator Cassidy, for working with me and my team to make this hearing successful. We have a vote today at 2:30 so Senator Cassidy is voting at the top of the hour and then he'll come back and take the gavel so I can vote.
This is a Subcommittee that will focus on how we can create opportunities for every American, how we can build a more equitable economy, and how we can invest in future prosperity.
President Biden has proposed a $2T infrastructure package, outlining the benefits of investing in roads and bridges and broadband and housing - the things people need to get to work. He's also about to unveil a plan for the caregiving economy, including child care, universal pre-K, and free community college. Current estimates put the price tag of that package at about $1.5T.
All these investments would make the lives of millions of people better, but they carry a total price tag of $3.5T, so how do we pay for them? Today, we will address that question by talking about revenues - where the money comes from to build a stronger future.
There are a variety of proposals that would help us move toward that stronger future.And I'm gonna highlight just three that I have put forward.
First, a wealth tax would impose an annual 2-cent tax on fortunes bigger than $50 million. It would not raise taxes on 99.9% of Americans by a single penny. That one tax would bring in $3T.
Second, the Real Corporate Profits Tax would force companies like Amazon and FedEx and Nike that make billions of dollars in profits and pay little or nothing in federal income taxes to pay more. The Real Corporate Profits Tax would apply only to corporations that report profits to their shareholders and the public of more than $100M. These companies would pay 7% of those reported profits - which they use to justify the big salaries and bonuses that they pay their CEOs - and they would pay that no matter how many tax loopholes they find or how many scams they run. President Biden has a similar approach. My version would raise about $1.3T.
And then finally, I have proposed increasing tax enforcement for wealthy individuals and giant corporations. This plan provides mandatory funding for the IRS that is focused on making sure that the rich and powerful get caught when they break the law. Estimates from the Commissioner of the IRS indicated that we lose about $1T a year from tax cheating. If we stepped up enforcement to cut the cheating by only 20%, we could raise as much as $1.8 trillion over the next decade.
These three big ideas alone would raise more than $6T, enough to pay for every single penny of President Biden's American Jobs Plan, and pay for every single penny of his American Families Plan, and still have more than $2T left over. As these numbers show, our nation can do both -- invest in American families and pay for it without raising taxes on those same families. We can build a country that creates opportunity, not just for those at the top, but creates opportunity for everyone.
Now, these big ideas have their critics. In fact, I invited one of the largest critics and loudest critics - Billionaire Leon Cooperman - here today to discuss these proposals with the members of the committee and the American public. After all, that is how democracy is supposed to work - citizens and stakeholders discuss ideas, and then our elected representatives vote. I'm disappointed that Mr. Cooperman decided that he was more comfortable taking softball questions on cable news than subjecting his views to debate in the United States Senate.
Now, Mr. Cooperman may have been too frightened to come here today, but others were not. Today we are joined by a panel of distinguished witnesses, including several academics and tax policy experts, by millionaire Abigail Disney, and by small business owner Cheryl Straughter, who have a variety of views on these proposals and are willing to discuss and debate them in public.
A fairer tax system is about making our country better and stronger. It is about allowing us to make investments in our economy by asking the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations to pay their fair share.
So, I'm looking forward to this discussion today, and I thank our witnesses and my colleagues for joining us.
I would at this point ordinarily turn to Ranking Member, Senator Cassidy, for his opening remarks but I think he's still voting. As soon as he rejoins us, he can give us those remarks.
Next Article Previous Article