The draft 2016 Democratic Platform contains the strongest language in support of a fair and progressive tax system of any party platform crafted in the modern era, according to analysis by Americans for Tax Fairness Action Fund (ATFAF).
"This is a major victory for working families and Main Street businesses that pay their fair of taxes," said Frank Clemente, executive director of Americans for Tax Fairness Action Fund. "The platform language on taxes represents a win for all those citizens and organizations that have been fighting tirelessly for a tax system that works for all of us--not just the rich and powerful. For too long we've been operating under a rigged tax system. This platform begins the process of changing that."
The 2016 DNC Drafting Committee approved the platform language with amendments in St. Louis on June 25, and ATFAF compared this year's draft language with all of the previous Democratic platforms since 1960.
"This platform recognizes that a strong and prosperous society is one that has the resources available to support and invest in our schools, healthcare, roads and bridges and so much more. We commend the platform drafters from both the Clinton and Sanders campaigns for their support of these tax fairness goals and proposals," Clemente said.
Topline proposals in the platform include:
• Making the rich and big corporations pay their fair share in taxes to address massive income and wealth inequality.
• Closing corporate tax loopholes that encourage the shifting of profits and jobs offshore. Chief among these is a call to end "deferral," which is the tax loophole that lets corporations avoid paying taxes on their offshore earnings until they are brought back to the United States. It is the primary reason that $2.4 trillion in profits are stashed offshore, on which corporations owe up to $700 billion in taxes.
• Requiring the rich to pay their fair share by enacting a surtax on millionaires and billionaires, strengthening the estate tax, ending the carried interest loophole enjoyed by Wall Street money managers, and ensuring that millionaires can no longer pay a lower tax rate than the middle class.
• Supporting a Financial Transactions Tax that would tax Wall Street trading to curb excessive speculation.
• Expanding tax incentives that encourage work by expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit to low-wage workers without children and to young workers starting at age 21.
These measures mirror many of the proposals recently proposed to both the Democratic and Republican Party platform committees by our sister organization, Americans for Tax Fairness, in testimony by executive director Frank Clemente.
"One disappointment was that the platform does not explicitly propose to raise the tax rate on capital gains and dividends to match the ordinary income tax rate so that income from wealth is taxed at the same rate as income from work," added Clemente.
The official version of the Democratic platform committee draft is expected to be available at the end of this week.