Fiscal Responsibility, Social Security and Medicare

Massachusetts and America values opportunity, dignity, and security for all. Accordingly, I propose that the federal government increases its investment in the future of our country and the protection of the vulnerable, and stop piling on debt for future generations in order to give tax breaks to ultra wealthy political donors and corporate special interests. The American middle class was once one of the greatest engines to bring people out of poverty and to create wealth and progress in the history of the world. That middle class was built on a system of progressive taxation which funded robust investments in education and infrastructure. We need to return to that model, reject the donor-purchased giveaways of national wealth which are keeping our economy down, and reinvest in opportunity for all – the American dream. Dignity and security for all means that we honor our commitment to our most vulnerable – the elderly, the sick, and the poor, partially through our Medicare and Social Security system.

The provisions I have outlined below will enable the investments listed throughout this platform to be fully paid for. The provisions will also enable us to reduce the national deficit and stabilize our long-term debt, along with ensuring the long-term sustainability of Social Security and Medicare.

My initial proposals:

Stop giving away public money to corporations offshoring American jobs and penalizing American small businesses – end deferral, end corporate inversions: American corporations have indefinitely deferred payment of over $700 billion in taxes on profits abroad, while others have purchased small foreign entities and incorporated abroad in order to completely avoid U.S. taxation. We must end these practices and their implicit incentive to keep profits abroad.

Make the middle class great again by repealing tax breaks for the ultra-wealthy donors who have purchased our political system and make them pay their fair share: We need to reverse one of the greatest wealth transfers in the history of the world – the combination of the George W. Bush and Trump tax cuts – and reinvest this tax revenue in job creation, education, and infrastructure rather than padding the fortunes of the ultra-wealthy.  I support retaining current tax rates for working and middle-class Americans. For those making more than $250,000 a year, I support a return to Clinton-era individual income tax rates, as well as implementing special income tax rates (per the Congressional Progressive Caucus’s “People’s Budget”) for the wealthiest Americans: 45% for $1 million to $10 million, 46% for $10 million-$20 million, 47% for $20 million-$100 million, 48% for $100 million - $1 billion, and 49% for $1 billion and over. These rates are not revolutionary. They are still far lower than the marginal income tax rates under the Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon Administrations that paid for the investments to build the modern American middle class, put Americans on the moon, and did not transfer endless debt to future generations.

Close or reform corporate loopholes for executive compensation, stock options, meals and entertainment and private jets: These tax breaks have no other purpose than to enrich the bottom line of our wealthiest individuals and our largest corporations. They should be repealed or reformed.

Modernize our tax code and implement a financial transaction tax: In the last several decades, the accumulation of wealth in our financial services industry has rapidly increased, but our tax system all but ignores this sector while aggressively taxing other forms of income. I propose we join over 30 other countries and implement a tax on financial transactions from 0.004% to .25%, varying by the type of security traded. These rates are deliberately set to at a level to both maximize the revenue generated (up to $1.8 trillion over 10 years), avoid discouraging economic activity of benefit to the broader economy, while reducing the incentives for market speculation. Our federal government collected tax on these transactions before 1966, and the Securities and Exchange Commission currently collects a fee on many financial transactions to fund its operations-- we can implement this.

Stabilize Medicare and Social Security for the long haul by raising the Social Security payroll tax cap and the Additional Medicare Tax: Currently, the wealthiest Americans only pay taxes in to Social Security for their first $128,400 in income. I will vote to remove this cap so that the wealthiest among us pay Social Security taxes on their full income, exempting those making up to $250,000 from additional tax increases. I will also vote to increase the Additional Medicare Tax for those making over $200,000 a year.