US Senator Bernie Sanders has denounced the “rigged economic and political system” in America, which has allowed billionaires to get rich significantly during the pandemic while others struggle financially.
A new report from the Institute for Policy Studies, Patriotic Millionaires, Fight Inequality Alliance and Oxfam has found that America’s wealthiest individuals have seen their ranks swell over the past five years, with US billionaires becoming richer by $2 trillion during the pandemic alone.
Worldwide, there are 2,660 billionaires, according to Oxfam’s report. As of November 30, 2021, these billionaires held a combined wealth of $13.76 trillion. The United States alone accounts for 740 of these billionaires, collectively holding $5.1 trillion.
Sanders, a Vermont independent and former presidential candidate, attributed the widening wealth gap in the United States to a corrupt system, where elected officials reward billionaires with tax breaks and other incentives in return for their contributions to the campaign.
A rigged economic and political system is when billionaires spend $1.2 billion in campaign contributions to buy off politicians in the last election, get $2 trillion richer during the pandemic, and pay an effective tax rate lower than that of a nurse. Yes, we need to abolish Citizens United.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) January 21, 2022
“A rigged economic and political system is when billionaires spend $1.2 billion in campaign contributions to buy off politicians in the last election, become $2 trillion richer during the pandemic, and pay a tax rate lower headcount than a nurse,” Sanders wrote in a tweet on Friday. .
“Yes, we must abolish Citizens United,” he added, referring to a controversial January 21, 2010 Supreme Court ruling that struck down century-old restrictions on campaign finance.
The court ruled that corporations, unions and wealthy donors have the right to speak out freely to spend unlimited funds to influence the US election.
Citizens United paved the way for an unrepresentative elite “donor class” to disproportionately fund election spending in the country.
Campaign contributions have seen a surge since then, with nearly half of so-called super PAC money coming from just 25 billionaires over the past decade.
Prior to Citizens United, the High Court had upheld some spending restrictions, arguing the government had a role to play in preventing corruption.
Critics say elected officials often feel pressured to reciprocate once they take office.
The Oxfam report says a wealth tax of 2% for individuals with more than $5 million, 3% for those with more than $50 million, and 5% for those with more than $50 million. a billion dollars would bring in 928.39 billion dollars a year.
This amount is enough to cover the largest and most significant portions of US federal spending.