For Immediate Release
Unnecessary Austerity, Unnecessary Shutdown
Reversing tax giveaways to the super-rich and the nation's largest corporations could raise $4 trillion within a decade and avert possible government closures, according to a new Institute for Policy Studies report.
WASHINGTON - "Unnecessary Austerity," a new Institute for Policy Studies report, explains how Congress could raise more than $4 trillion in revenue over the next decade by reversing years of tax giveaways to the richest Americans and largest corporations.
The report examines massive shifts in the tax code since 1961, the year President Barack Obama was born. For example, if corporations and households amassing $1 million or more in income each year paid taxes at the same rates as they did in 1961, the Treasury would collect an additional $716 billion a year — $7 trillion over a decade.
"This potential shutdown is an unnecessary exercise," said report co-author Chuck Collins, who directs the Institute's Inequality and the Common Good project. "Congress has prioritized tax cuts for the wealthy and failed to crack down on corporate tax dodgers, fueling a budget crisis."
The report prescribes eight new potential revenue sources. Taken together, they would boost revenue by $4 trillion over the next decade. These include:
- Closing overseas tax havens ($90-100 billion)
- Adding new tax brackets for households with more than $1 million ($60-80 billion) in annual income
- Instituting a modest financial transaction tax ($150 billion)
For example, if U.S. corporations were taxed at the same effective rate that they paid in 1961, the additional tax revenue would total $485 billion.
FRIENDS: Now More Than Ever
Independent journalism has become the last firewall against government and corporate lies. Yet, with frightening regularity, independent media sources are losing funding, closing down or being blacked out by Google and Facebook. Never before has independent media been more endangered. If you believe in Common Dreams, if you believe in people-powered independent media, please support us now and help us fight—with truths—against the lies that would smother our democracy. Please help keep Common Dreams alive and growing. Thank you. -- Craig Brown, Co-founder
Institute for Policy Studies turns Ideas into Action for Peace, Justice and the Environment. We strengthen social movements with independent research, visionary thinking, and links to the grassroots, scholars and elected officials. I.F. Stone once called IPS "the think tank for the rest of us." Since 1963, we have empowered people to build healthy and democratic societies in communities, the US, and the world. Click here to learn more, or read the latest below.