Sen. Bernie Sanders made clear in an interview Sunday that he opposes the push by top Democrats to restore a tax deduction that overwhelmingly benefited the richest households in the U.S., saying such an effort “sends a terrible, terrible message” at a time of crippling economic pain for poor and working-class people.
The tax break in question is known as the state and local tax (SALT) deduction, which former President Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers capped at $10,000 as part of their 2017 tax law. While the GOP tax measure was highly regressive—delivering the bulk of its benefits to the rich and large corporations—the SALT cap was “one of the few aspects of the Trump bill that actually promoted tax progressivity,” as the Washington Post pointed out last month.
According to a recent analysis by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), 62% of the benefits of repealing the SALT cap would go to the richest 1% and 86% of the benefits would go to the top 5%. ITEP estimated that temporarily suspending the cap would cost more than $90 billion in just one year.
“There is no state where this is a primarily middle-class issue,” the organization found. “In every state and the District of Columbia, more than half of the benefits would go to the richest 5% of taxpayers. In all but six states, more than half of the benefits would go to the richest 1%.
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction