The explosive ProPublica report released today confirmed what we have known for quite some time: the wealthy and powerful play by a different set of rules than the rest of us. Following is a statement by Amy Hanauer, executive director of the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, regarding the report:
“ProPublica’s reporting today on the details of how 25 billionaires pay little to nothing in federal tax relative to their incomes is a wakeup call: the nation needs tax reform that will impart some balance to our tax system.
“Just as ITEP’s revelations about corporate tax-dodging have sparked increased interest in reforming our corporate income tax, we hope that the ProPublica expose forces reform of our personal income tax.
“Tax experts have long known that billionaires often pay little or nothing, just as they have long known that corporations often pay little or nothing. But seeing names and specific numbers brings into sharper focus the need to reform the tax code.
“Congress can take on the problems that ProPublica exposed. Already on the table is President Biden’s proposal to finally tax the “unrealized” capital gains of the wealthy when they die. This would be a solid initial step toward beginning to fix what ProPublica revealed today. Many additional reforms would also help and taxing capital gains at death is an excellent place to start.”