For Immediate Release
Billionaire Wealth Grew by $845 Billion, or 29%, as America Struggled Through First Six Months of Pandemic
WASHINGTON - Half a year into a paralyzing pandemic that has cost millions of Americans their livelihoods and lives, the nation’s 643 billionaires have racked up $845 billion in collective wealth gains, a 29% leap since March 18. America’s billionaires reached this startling milestone of wealth accumulation even as special federal relief was drying up for millions of unemployed workers and for hard-pressed state and local governments struggling to provide vital services. Billionaire figures are from Forbes analyzed in a new report by Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF) and the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS).
- 6.6 million Americans got coronavirus, and almost 200,000 died from it.
- Over 50 million Americans lost jobs, with nearly 14 million still unemployed.
- 30 million are collecting unemployment benefits (counting contract workers), up from 1.6 million a year earlier.
- Nearly 30 million Americans have gone hungry.
- 12 million Americans have lost employee-sponsored health insurance.
- Big swathes of business have shut down, including 100,000 restaurants.
- $300 billion in new pandemic relief proposed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in the aid bill crafted and that the Senate failed to pass last week.
- Two-year estimated budget gap of all state and local governments, a figure that runs from $500 billion for all levels of government to $555 billion for states alone. By mid-summer, state and local governments had already laid off 1.5 million workers and public services—especially education—faced steep budget cuts.
- About $500 billion in direct aid to state governments over the next two years for critical services.
- $375 billion in direct aid to local governments over the next two years for critical services. Go here to see how much is going to communities in your state.
- $117 billion in increased federal Medicaid funding over the next two years.
- $90 billion for public schools for grades K-12 and public colleges and universities.
This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.
Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.
Please select a donation method:
Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF) is a diverse campaign of more than 425 national, state and local endorsing organizations united in support of a fair tax system that works for all Americans. It has come together based on the belief that the country needs comprehensive, progressive tax reform that results in greater revenue to meet our growing needs. This requires big corporations and the wealthy to pay their fair share in taxes, not to live by their own set of rules.