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tv   Rep. Jayapal Discussion with The Patriotic Millionaires on Taxing the Rich  CSPAN  October 17, 2020 5:23am-6:27am EDT

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the remarks are part of a conversation about taxing the wealthy hosted by the patriotic millionaires. this is one hour. >> hi everybody. we are so delighted to have you i am the founder and president of the patriotic millionaire a welcome to the congresswoman for being our guest today and for all of you to be here we are joined by
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our three guests and we will start off with a 30 minute overview and then we will hear from the congresswoman and have a question and answer and then wrap at 3:00 o'clock if you want to learn more of what we are doing tax the you will find the link to patriotic millionaires university that explains the tax code top to bottom unlike other universities we could mentioned ours is free so let's meet the millionaires. >> you are on mute. >> sorry.
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the chair of the border patriotic millionaires a computer engineer by training but spent most of my career on wall street the last ten years of blackrock the largest asset management company in the world after the financial crisis of 2008 my work center evaluated the risk exposure one day i was at the top floor of the bank in athens i walked by the window i saw a huge crowd of people in the street and for a moment i thought there was a parade and then a protest in the riot i look behind me and i wondered if i was helping anybody beyond the executive i was having lunch with and i left a 30 year career to work full-time to do policy work and advocacy work with the patriotic millionaire. >> hello everyone my great-grandfather was a meatpacker for oscar meyer my grandpa emigrated from germany with the sausage in his pocket and made a fortune my dad
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would say bringing home the bacon has a different meaning in her family i inherited part that fortune and promptly gave it away. why? i did not think it was a good idea to have a society where a few families had huge portions and millions of others had nothing. i didn't want to be a beneficiary of that system i spent the last 30 years researching wealth and inequality i've written a few books about taxing the inherited fortune with bill gates senior who recently passed away at the institute for policy studies i'm pleased to be here. >> i everyone every time i hear about chuck giving away all the money anova should shake him i grew up in a little town of georgia my family was not rich going up
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in the first 20 years of my working career finally got the courage to start my own company, reprinting business at 42 years old up at the start up cost on my credit cards several years later the accountant said i was bankrupt he said everyone in town knew i was bankrupt except me and scare the hell out of me but a few years later i got lucky and ran from walmart to dunkin' donuts every mom-and-pop restaurant they joined the patriotic millionaires because they know we were getting me with murder ceos are four times more likely to be a social path in the general population that's true rich people are just mostly greedy pastors i should know i'm friends with a lot of them. and then they put their pants on one leg at a time just like everyone else even those who inherit their money or convince somehow they earned it and by god they will fight
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to keep every last dime america be damned. every day millions go to work and do the right thing pay taxes to lead a good life and every day they are screwed by the richest people in america and is time we put a stop to it. >> the patriotic millionaires first came together in 2010 during the lame-duck session of congress with president obama and republicans in the senate were negotiating a deal to extend the bush tax cuts for incomes over $1 million so different sides of the political iowa working together to cut taxes on millionaires and infuriated me. i called a few millionaires and they got together and wrote a letter to the president and congress that basically said for the good of the country raise my taxes and the message was so shocking it
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blew up in the media and we have been working together ever since to raise taxes on millionaires like our members. we are not a partisan group taxes are not a partisan issue. the majority of democrats, the majority of republicans in the majority of independence believe millionaires and billionaires should pay substantially higher taxes. the only people who disagree with this unremarkable idea are the ones running the government couldn't possibly have anything to do with all those contributions of millionaires and billionaires make? i know. probably. in world war ii the marginal tax rate for the highest income was 94 percent in the fifties it was 91 percent. today is 37 percent.
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who was in charge and washington has changed countless times that the tax rate for the richest people in the country has gone down. >> most tax negotiations take place behind closed doors and compromise legislation typically is bipartisan support has been virtually impossible to point the blame that change in 2016 when the republican party took over the white house and the senate and the house they had so much power they didn't have to compromise and in 2017 the use the power to rewrite the whole federal tax code. every single democrat went against it almost every republican voted for it. >> this was lucky because it finally gave clarity on how one side of the political aisle thinks it should be structured.
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to be clear some tax code has been around for years but in 2017 republicans decided to take responsibility they voted for it you may like some of it or hate all of it that's for you to decide we just want you to talk to your lawmakers about it because regardless of who is in charge, americans deserve a fair tax code and we don't have one today. >> last year for the first time in history, billionaires paid a lower tax rate than every other group of the country. how does that even happen to be a regular person's taxes to a rich person. let's begin. >> so the two people joe and
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to me worked 40 hours every weekend together they made $100,000. just above average they are married, they will file taxes jointly after taking the standard deduction and paying into social security and medicare they end up a $75200 in taxable income. >> let's step back and explain some things so here you will see a chart of the federal tax bracket how much you pay at each level of income this is married filing jointly. everybody gets a standard deduction is basically the amount the government says you can keep that we only have you pay taxes above the amount so that means you pay a slightly higher percentage the more you make after the standard
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deduction they will pay 10 percent on the first chunk and percent after that until they max out at 37 percent rate any income over 622,000 everybody pays the same way moving to the tax brackets with you make 50000 say it is the same as a millionaire in the first 50000 they all max out at 37 at 622,622,000,000. >> so was 75200 standard deduction they pay 10 percent of the first chunk and percent on the rest so attacks will be thousand $600. >> no we are two other people
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may sit around all year attending on the beach monday ronald searle some stock making a profit of $100,000 they would take the standard deduction left was $75200 of taxable income just like the others who made the same amount of money so they should be the same amount right? >> and the same current tax system they pay zero taxes the first family worked hard to get ahead the slots were already rich sat on the beach sipping daiquiris at the end of the year there were cards were $9000 poorer and why? >> because the republican lawmakers believe money should be taxed differently depending on how you make it.
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here is a comparison with the rates side-by-side most people were most of you on this call make ordinary income and you get a paycheck and taxes came out of the paycheck. and millionaires make capital gains income you sell and it goes after a profit and is considered capital gains. as you can see that is at a much lower rate. >> let's say they sold even more stock making 400,000 capital gains profits they take the standard deduction then they pay zero tax on the first 80015 percent on the rest with the total tax bill of around $40000. there were cards made $400,000
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working 40 hours a week they take the standard deduction of medicare and social security so their total bill on $82000, to families making exactly the same amount of money but the e-traders are $38000 richer than the working. >> you actually work for a living you pay higher taxes than those who live off of investments. that's not even in the best deal but the best is to inherit money like me. if there were cards got new jobs they are such good singers they made $11 million they pay social security and medicare, take the standard deduction and up with just under 11 million of taxable
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income they max out at 37 percent of all income over $622,000 that will tax bill was $4 million making 11 million a year is hardly a reason to sing how does that compare? >> they also had a really good year. mr. slots grandma died and left her entire 11 million-dollar fortune to them. don't worry. how much will they pay in taxes on their $11 million of inheritance? >> nothing. zero. they would not pay any taxes on that because when republican lawmakers wrote the tax code they exempted the first $11 million from every estate taxes and 22 million for a couple once again they
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took in exactly the same amount because they are in it in different ways one by working in the other by waiting for someone to die therefore million dollars riche richer. >> you may have broke away from england several hundred years ago that you take a deep dive into the tax code you will hear god save the queen spirit that's right republican lawmakers clearly preferred the aristocracy. remember how capital gains taxes were? you buy stock from 1 million and sell it for 10 million simple enough what about that stock for 1 million but the day before you sell the stock
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goes to your heirs? when they inherit that stock then the basis changes instead of 1 million when you first bought it is now stepped up at 10 million the value it had on the day that you die when they sell it they only pay taxes above the new $10 million so that $9 million is wiped out for tax purposes. >> let's talk about another rich person gimmick the 1031 exchange this benefits a certain well-known real estate developer they can employ capital gains when they sell a piece of property immediately invest in another property if the building is $10 million he holds it and then sells it he
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was that money into a new 20 million-dollar building and a few years later she sells that building at 60 billion and buys 1000 buildings that $60 billion he start off with 110 million-dollar building and ends up with 1000 worth 60 million and still pays no taxes. >> when these were one - - loopholes work together it's billions of dollars for the property without paying warren sent in taxes look at the same situation as before but instead of selling those for 60 million he holds onto them until they're worth 200 million and then he dies they will pay some estate tax but the heirs will inherit that they sell it before there
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are no new taxes than they will not pay taxes on those gains. >> on one side we have a wealthy heirs was never worked, never contributed to society, inherit hundreds of millions of dollars of property and contributed nothing to the country. nothing to build our roads, keep the water clean or to keep safe on the other side the family that goes to work and pay their taxes and do their part for the country every single day. >> between one third and one half of all wealth in america is inherited many of the richest people are not rich because they did something to earn it because their parents or grandparents did something to earn it. there's nothing wrong with inheriting money but there was no good reason the inheritance income should be taxed differently.
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>> talking about personal taxes let's turn to corporations. >> and 2018 if you ordered a box of toothpicks you paid more for delivery than amazon paid and federal taxes the entire year. if you watched a single movie on netflix you paid more for your subscription than they paid in federal taxes all 2018. the fifth of the pair car once you pay more than chevron paid in federal taxes. how does this happen? >> the main is the new federal tax codes they do business in one country when they really do business here work at starbucks may have thousands of stores in the us and a few dozen and ireland you expect them to pay a lot of taxes in ireland and larson ireland. that would make sense but that's not the way it works. most large companies have intellectual property or trademark unlike land or buildings intellectual property can be transferred to
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another country. the logo. smart lawyer can transfer ownership of that logo to starbucks ireland who legally owns it now starbucks us has to send money to starbucks of ireland they can make the royalty payments whatever they want because they are big enough it puts all the profits in ireland even though they sold more coffee in the united state states. using this and other tricks 91 of the fortune 500 companies paid zero taxes in 2018. zero. here we are again with the others holding up their end of the bargain everybody else shirking the responsibility. >> the new tax code left some corporations only pay template 5 percent on the money they earn overseas that is over
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half the current corporate tax rate of 21 percent. companies could get a big tax credit for all the equipment they own another countries. the more factories overseas, the more they can cut out of this tax bill. no wonder we lose so many american jobs. >> ceos while pretending there are good reasons why they should skip out on taxes. because they are job creators the real message on - - magicians create jobs out of thin air by waving a want. i am not a job creator yes i start companies and we hire employees but they don't have jobs because of my genius but because people really like it and even if i die, another will come along to organize the company to fill that
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demand. >> in the lead up, there were a lot of ceos pushing for a lower corporate tax rate using them to create jobs and with the job creator plus two or the ceo of at&t is one of the biggest cheerleaders and then insisted the tax cuts and job creation is very very tight and if only they were improved and with high taxes so keep in mind corporations on their profits so mr. stephenson's claim does not even make sense on the face but be that as it may maybe he was just confused. >> i don't think so because
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2008 through 2015 at&t paid a corporate tax rate of 8 percent which was significantly below the standard rate of 35 percent and the company probably hired tens of people and during that period they cut 80000 jobs and they took the savings and brought back $34 billion with the company stock increasing the net worth of the executives. the new tax code went into effect at&t has cut 40000 additional jobs and last year paid handle stephenson and $32 million. >> talk about stock buybacks if you are unfamiliar when a company uses some of his profits to buy up its own stock making the remaining stock more valuable.
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doesn't change long-term but it does those that are paid in stock options like millionaires ceos a lot of money. watson ceos said they would use as corporate tax cuts to hire more people but that was not true and then to make those executives even richer corporate stock buybacks reached an all-time high of over $1 trillion. so business owners don't create jobs in corporate tax cuts don't create jobs in stock buybacks really don't create jobs. what about regular investors people like me with money in the stock market we pay half the tax rate of those that work for a living they justify that lower tax rate to say investors are job creators investors will invest so let
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me explain. apple employees thousands of people to make iphones. im and investor in apple with hundreds of thousands of dollars in apple stock the people who work at apple have jobs because of the millions of people who want to buy iphones not because of investors like me know the money i spent buying apple stock went to apple and went to other investors it went that were selling their stock that they and investors are not going anywhere regardless of the tax rate the alternative to investing is keeping your money in a mattress. any logical person would rather make something and pay taxes on it as opposed to pay nothing in taxes and not make any money. >> private equity funds
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actively buy and sell entire companies with that investor tax rate and then they also get the special tax rate with a job creators? >> not even close. in 2002 private equity firms took over toys "r" us. they love to say they saved at creating 62000 jobs in the process but did they? prior to the takeover it had 97000 employees they were in good financial state shape a 252 million earnings but by the time they were done with the company the private equity job creators shut down all stores now a billion dollars
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in debt the investors made $470 million that destroyed a company costing nearly 100,000 jobs on a paid half the tax rate on that money as those who work for a living. >> the new federal tax code makes it easy for corporations to skip out on taxes for those who already have money or inherit money over those who work for a living and as they get richer there are more ways to get out of paying their fair share. >> yes it's more than it has been in 100 years the top 1 percent owns 40 percent of all the wealth in the country. since 1990 the world has tripled but half has the noble growth at all. >> is lake us that game will
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make you taking money from those at the bottom in the middle giving it to those at the top. >> people take to the streets but as a whole they cannot take it anymore. they are sick of seeing those get everything well millions are treated like second or third class citizens. regular working people pay twice but i pay so even with the same income i do you are worse off. >> in america today at the depth of despair was suicide in alcohol and drugs are at their highest level ever recorded two.5 million people are addicted to opioids in the first time in our country's history life expectancy is going down for a large segment of the population and with
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covid things have gotten worse businesses across the country are going under and many permanently look at the stock market you would never know how bad things are over 200,000 people died we made almost $1 trillion of new wealt wealth. >> here's the thing over time and in a variety of ways a relatively small group of people manipulated the tax code to restructure the economy to produce outcomes that were fabulous for them and bad for everybody else these people want to live in a country with a tiny number of extremely wealthy poor people are people and little middle-class we can fix that with your help if everyone is
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paying attention we can have the tax code we want regardless of who is in charge and if you want to know more or join the fight please visit tax the and now we are so excited to speak with congresswoman jayapal you're so happy to see you. >> it is so good to be with you. i just got the tail end of the conversation, bed i see stars and champions at patriotic millionaires and with this critically important topic. host: we have a lot of questions from the audience as they put their questions in the chat but how do we fix this cracks me said earlier the republicans are responsible because they all put the bill a lot of this
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content was already there so how do we fix that quick. >> let me give a few opening comments and i'm happy to take all the questions. so those policy details are real with those implications for far too many workers and families as you have noted the staggering income inequality more than 80 percent of all creation goes to the wealthiest and a country where 40 percent of american adults could not even cover the unanticipated for hundred dollar emergency with the cash in their bank account. that is not an accident, it's a deliberate one - - deliberate policy decisions the 2 trillion-dollar tax scam to the ultra- wealthy combined
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with the deregulatory schemes and the loopholes that allow billionaires without paying their fair share including those in the new district to squash competition from smaller businesses and then a very recent rand corporation between 1975 and 2018 to find two two.$5 trillion is redistributed from the bottom 90 percent to the wealthiest 1 percent each year that is
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$50 trillion more than 27 million have lost their healthcare and more than 100,000 small businesses are shattered and if you are a black business you have one out of ten chance more than 105h on - - 2,015,000 dead because of covid-19 but the wealth the billionaires are at a record high of ten.2 trillion during the crisis so trump is the symptom and the cause of economic inequality plaguing the country long before the pandemic. >> and then to address those within covid relief $600 that is part of the original covid-19 stimulus package is
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about making sure they put food on the table and the republicans want to keep those cuts in the c.a.r.e.s. act whole and take away the expanded employment benefits. they say that means people will not come back to work but let me just say how about we raise the minimum wage so they are thinking about coming back to work? with the covid relief package and then led to the biggest businesses getting money when they didn't need it. and then to what limited to
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what they could take back no stock buyback and a lot of those are suffering because they took money out in the past years. that's we have to test that program so where does the money actually go and what are the requirements for that money to be utilized well? . . . .
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they pay their fair share and tackling inequality head on.
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at the end of the day, government has to be the great equalizer of opportunity. we have to take on this question of what i call individual supremacy. the individual supremacy manifests itself in the brokers broken taxes him, so much racism and xenophobia and hate. individual supremacy in my mind is collective failure to act on climate change and justice, a broken healthcare system that bankrupts the stick into powerful gun lobby's that believe owning a weapon of war overrides the right of the community to be safe. ultimately, it shows up anytime we forget how deeply interconnected we all are and the simple idea we are all better off when we are all better off. what we do? we are bold in this hopefully next democratic senate, a more
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democratic and progressive hou house. we are bold in the policies we propose and make sure the policies are targeted to ensure working people get not only the money, the wealth and power back in our democracy. >> we have some wonderful questions. representative, as a constituent, how can we ensure companies that use our state as a tax haven account held accountable to paying state and federal taxes. one of the things we see is lawmakers are worried millionaire will have to do that if they raise their taxes. the end result is the federal government will chip in and nobody gets it. a circular hot potato.
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>> it is a circular hot potato. i worked for years -- it's a technical term there. [laughter] i worked for years as an activist and state legislature for two years i was in the same state senate. chuck has worked on this as we well, we try very hard and i do think there's an opportunity again because the thing we have to do is help americans understand when they feel they are paying too much in tax, average americans is because they are. we should acknowledge that. they are because they are not paying their fair share. that is the circle we have to educate people about in order to change state tax policy but also, i would say this is where electing bold progressives is important because people say to me, how can you take on amazon,
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they are headquartered in your own district? i'm not saying amazon is bad, about the ability more amazon to thrive in monopolies and anticompetitive behavior cannot be the practice of our nation. probably 40 -- 60% of my constituent work for one of these companies and yet, i got more votes in congress than any other member across the country so i believe the people are with us and there are studies that have shown members of congress are far more conservative than the actual district so we need people who are going to be bold and will lead on these issues even though there's so much money and politics and we have to get money out of politics. hr one elizabeth warren's anticorruption act which i lead sponsored in the house, these are the things that will allow us to return government to the voice of the people. >> great. another question, don't we all
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need to improve enforcement? changing the law doesn't stop the people willing to just not pay the taxes and hope they will get away with it. i mentioned a study, i think 5 trillion of which people will not have come in in the next decade so we have an big probl problem. >> this is one of the outrageous things republicans and democrats have done over the years the disinvestment in the system that allows us to enforce so with the irs, republicans have been brilliant at defunding the irs and not providing enough resources with the irs to actually enforce the law or actively not make it a priority. both things have been true. you see that also with antitrust, it is a little different but having just gone through 16 months investigation
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on antitrust with the four largest tech programs, they need to reassert their authority for the enforcement agencies have not had the resources to do what they need to against the giant resources of the four wealthiest men in our country so i think those are issues we need to think about is reinvesting in government again. thinking about government as a great equalizer of opportunity, enforcement requires resources and equipment to enforce. >> morris, we hear a lot of people thinking you and the members of the millers should write a check to the irs and make everybody else they their fair share. why don't you just write a check
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to the irs? >> sure. it just my taxes, i could write a check, that would be fine but it's not just that, i will bless in the nation. i want to have the millions of people who are unemployed and doing poorly to feel they are part of america. we couldn't run a country club, just send whatever you want, some wouldn't send anything and others would resent the fact they are paying and others aren't and they would just leave and join another country club. you can't run a country club that way, you can't run a country that way. we have to agree through democratic process of how much we are each going to pay for the country. >> here's another question, how to explain to my conservative leaning family helping low income folks have more money and it's better for the economy and giving tax cuts to the american
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people? >> i saw that question, i was going to ask you to ask me that question because it is such a good one. we have to list the myths so i would start by saying, did you know washington state, for example, the company that has the third highest number of employees on state -based medicaid assistance is. do you have some thoughts about that? we have to show the subsidies we are giving to the wealthiest individuals and show that it hurts all of us. in many, many ways, we are taking money from working families and giving it to the wealthiest. the next part can be if we were to invest in people, low income
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folks, people that have real challenges in their life, that is like investing in your kids education. if you put money into your kids education, it is because you know in 12 years, 16 years, 18 years, that kid will have a better shot at being self-sufficient on the road and guess what that means. they're not going to depend on you, mom and dad for their income down the road so i think that's one of the ways we have to bring it back to yes, you do this all the time, why you by a house? you buy a house because it's an investment in the future. that is the same thing. if we help folks struggling at the bottom get to a place where they can be sustainable, that is good for all of us separate from the. value of being the right thing to do so i view both approaches
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because i find people don't think about how much we are subsidizing the wealthiest people with our taxes and when they find that out, they are like wait a second, why am i paying when amazon should be paying a higher rate or -- i'm not picking up amazon for x corporation should pay the highest or wealthiest individuals should pay more. is it fair the secretary is paying x% of the taxes and the wealthiest person in that corporation is paying far less? it doesn't make any sense. >> stephen did a nice job earlier he said i'm not a job greater. the money could go anywhere in the planet, speculative consumption. put more money in the pockets of working people, it stimulates the economy and creates demand so i think it is an important
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argument to keep making that should say, it's been the most effective leaders especially within congress, within the state, and explain her and champion on this so we are very fortunate to have you in the role you are. >> that reminded me, if i could just say when we were fighting for the $15 minimum wage, the argument chuck and stephen just made was key. people would say you raised minimum wage, it's going to hurt businesses and employment. we have to bring people back to the idea that a company is not successful in and of itself. the entity called the company that exists separate from the worker so when you increase minimum wage for workers, it means they put that money back into the economy right away because there low wage workers, they are not putting into a
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savings account, they trying to figure out how to make a daily living on the minimum wage. when they spend the money in the economy, their local communities, businesses in the community do better. when they do better, they hire more workers and the cycle continues so i think that is important to say what it is that creates that cycle and at the end of the day, it is the workers that power the cycle of business success. >> here is another one. have you thought about what taxing the rich would mean for charitable giving in your district? services for nonprofit. we've seen a large portion of charitable donations coming from the wealthy. there is a concern they will see a decline. i love to see you angela. >> iran a nonprofit 12 years.
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i started in front of the largest advocacy organization and our stay so i understand how important charitable giving is. however, i don't think it should be a substitute for a fair tax system. if you have a fair tax system, is a world in which we could imagine fewer nonprofits or nonprofits that had less work to do because people were actually getting what they needed through the actual systems of education of healthcare and etc.? to me, it is a bit of a straw man. i understand the concern because i had to raise money and charitable giving opportunities were important and i think we should have good incentives for people to give money to charitable causes but i don't think it is a substitute and i don't personally want to get the power to make decisions about what our education system should look like or what our safety
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system should look like to people who are unelected. they are wonderful good people there obviously smart and made a lot of money but should they make the decisions about what public schools should look like or what social services should look like? i don't think so. i think we need the government to reassert its authority, tax people fairly and of course, encourage and celebrate the contributions of those who choose to give. >> i know bill gates senior quite well and he was eloquent about this. at one time he said isn't it strange my son can give $100 billion to his foundation will never pay taxes on that? don't we want -- it's a noble endeavor but not a replacement for an adequately funded tax collector and fair tax system.
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we should start to be concerned about how much influence and power is going into the billing a foundations. the wealthy give their own private foundations but a lot of the money is warehouse. i think you said it perfectly, let's celebrate it but it is not until the -- substitute. >> there are a lot of people who want to help the name on the building at lincoln center and fewer people want their treatment plan, and 25th street. stephen, i'm going to put this one on you. why are more of these tax concerns revealed to the public in this manner? >> when i find living here in the south, all the real issues in america are being covered up by the big smokescreen. build that wall, all the things
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the right continues to throw out when really, every problem, the vast majority is really taxes. with the right does, they continue to grow their followers and say look at this over here and look at that. but really and truly, what they know is that these people get so fired up about these on important issues in both of these people who at the end of the day, will do with the wealthy contributors want which is lowering taxes for the wealthy. how do we break through? i don't know. i tried down here in south georgia all the time. it's a pretty thick wall of smoke but that is what we have to try to figure out what to do. >> you should move to seattle, stephen.
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it's much better. [laughter] >> we need stephen in the south. [laughter] we need people all over the country doing this work. >> move in. >> a question from donna. in this election or democratic rubric is estate, i've heard no explanation of the 2017 favor of the rich, comparing to how much trump has had immigrants paying more taxes than resident trump. why are we telling people please fax? >> i don't think we are not telling people please fax but the reality is, we've got a hurricane of the worst sort in the white house. gina public, racist, constitution destroying president so every day, even when that tax, the initial think
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about taxes came out, we had a couple of days of great focus on that in the media and how donald trump is saying no taxes but then there was a crisis like two days later and shifted the conversation so it's kind of why i was joking and saying we need stephen to stay in the south because it's why the grassroots movement to educate people is so important because the national attention is so diverted all the time and we are dealing with a lot of out there. if you look at my twitter and follow me, i certainly raise those things all the time but it is not just enough to do that, you have to have sustained communications campaign and grassroots organizing effort at the local level in communities across the country. >> to pick up on this, go to tax the to sign up. people are so confused by the tax code and taxes are confusing and boring until you understand them so what we try to do today
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is lay out at the most basic level, if you are a normal person who goes to work and pays your taxes, you are getting completely screwed. you are doing your part and you don't have any of these tricks you can do. you're putting in your bid every day and everybody, majority of democrats and democrats and republicans and independents believe that. we need to push that into the conversation because of what party we are talking about. here is another question. people often ask us about a flat tax. why don't we want a flat tax? in be easy, everybody pays the same. >> that would mean people at the low end, increasing their taxes a lot and they don't have any more money to pay. that means decreasing taxes for
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people like me. that would be the opposite of what we are trying to do. people with higher income should have higher tax rates than people with lower income. no, i don't think that's a good idea at all. that would make any quality much worse. >> there's a big gap also, federal who wants to hit this but there's a big gap between the 90% tax rate in world war two and the 37% we have today. anybody want to throw out thoughts on some additional brackets could be and what levels of income they could way and not? >> i am not a tax lawyer source for me to dive into it in that fashion but look at 1973, the tax code was at the 91% level we talked about earlier and in 1973, nixon got the tax decrease started and it's gone in the
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direction. the public doesn't understand, it snuck up on these people and we have completely changed the tax structure in the thing i'm concerned about, i have a 4-year-old grandchild, what is it going to be like when she's my age if we don't fix this? we got to fix it soon because it is reaching a time of no return if we're not careful. >> one of our slides had the one who started home depot, he had all that money and paid tax rate of 70% didn't dissuade him from starting a huge business. >> you said earlier, same great weather is hundred 22000 or 1 million and that is the problem not having a graduate tax system, why is it a billionaire pays the same great is somebody with -- that's what we are missing. we should have steps that go up,
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should be steps that go up to slow the concentration of wealth and power at the top. not just raising revenue, it is protecting our democracy. >> that's right. i would just add to say i just don't think people fully understand aspect the system is to keep wealth in the hands of very few. so if you are wealthy, what you can do to pass on the wealth, how you can keep it in your family so i think all of you have talked about this in different way, it's income inequality and wealth inequality and that is really essential to any notion we are going to have a fair future for our kids and grandkids and that's why increasingly, everything is defined by what family you are
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born into and what zip code you happen to live in. all deeply intertwined in terms of education systems, housing, opportunities, criminal justice -- i just did a criminal justice reform roundtable with some of the top experts in my state and i share stephen's concern with how quickly -- i guess, it's not in the grand scheme but when you think about a few decades we've seen so much transfer of wealth and how difficult it will be to undo this because of all the myths out there but how essential it is because this continued concentration means we really don't have a democracy if we go much further than this. >> have about one minute left,
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you just want to close us? >> thank you. thank you so much for the patriotic leaners, it does help folks who have made a lot of money say hey, take it away from me. on a basic level, it matters to have those voices in and of course, what also matters is the work you're doing to simplify concepts. we get to walkie about them, and needs to be language that regular people can understand, what does it mean for my pocketbook? what does it mean for my future, like it's? what does it mean for my community? i think that's what patriotic leaners has been doing on the communication side, communicating but also helping us organize. if we are going to win this fight, it will have to be an organizing movement, wealthy middle-class and working folks coming out across the country, demanding of their
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representatives, boulder transformational policy and having their backs when they do because people are always concerned about that but i think that is the important work we have to do and i'm grateful to all of you for doing it and to my friend chuck is been working on this such a long time and doing such tremendous work and stephen and morris, both of you as well. i'm looking forward to transform our system together. >> thank you so much.
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