Bernie Sanders, a 2020 hopeful for the Democratic nomination and a self-proclaimed “Democratic Socialist,” isn’t done targeting the rich with big levies after announcing another tax plan Monday that would hit companies with large pay gaps between executives and their rank-and-file employees.
Sen. Sanders, I-Vt., has championed against wealth inequality in the United States, and his newest tax plan falls in line with that narrative. The tax would target companies with CEOs that earn more than 50 times the median salary within that company, according to CNBC. These ratios are easier to find now because of a Securities and Exchange Commission rule introduced in 2015 that requires companies to disclose those ratios.
“The American people are sick and tired of corporate CEOs who now make 300 times more than their average employees, while they give themselves huge bonuses and cut back on the healthcare and pension benefits of their employees,” Sanders said in a statement.
Sanders provided some examples of what companies would be hit in a semi-threatening tweet announcing the plan:
Americans are sick and tired of corporate CEOs making hundreds of times what their workers make.
Walmart: 1,076 to 1
The Home Depot: 486 to 1
Nike: 379 to 1
We say to corporate America: If you don’t end your greed and corruption, we will end it for you. https://t.co/0fW4y4rALS
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) September 30, 2019
The threshold for the tax starts at companies with revenue of $100 million or more, and the tax would ramp up depending on how much the CEO is making compared to the median. Here’s a breakdown included in Sanders’ plan announcement:
How companies’ corporate taxes would increase if their compensation ratio is:
- Between 50 and 100: +0.5%
- Between 100 and 200: +1%
- Between 200 and 300: +2%
- Between 300 and 400: +3%
- Between 400 and 500: +4%
- More than 500: +5%
JPMorganChase taxes would’ve increased by up to $991.6 million in 2018 under the plan, according to Sanders’ statement. Walmart Inc. would’ve taken a blow to the tune of $793.8 million. General Motors, whose CEO Mary Barra has received some heat for making 281 times the median salary at GM while cutting 15,000 jobs earlier this year, would’ve had to pay an extra $294 million in 2018.
Sanders’ campaign estimates the plan would raise $150 billion in taxes over the next 10 years, and it would use that money to bail Americans out of medical debt, which is another issue Sanders has been outspoken about leading up to the 2020 election.
Sanders is in the mix at the top of the Democratic primary race along with former Vice President Joe Biden and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Though, the Vermont Senator is a distant third at this point according to most polling.