"We can have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we cannot have both."
Louis D. Brandeis
These words were uttered over 70 years ago, but unfortunately they are truer now than ever. Over the last few decades our government has orchestrated a massive transfer of wealth from the lower and middle classes to the top 1%. As a result, since 1980 the top 1% has seen its income go up by 190% while the average family's has increased only 16%. This inequality has reached such heights that the top 0.01% of Americans now own as much as the bottom 90% combined. Indeed, income inequality is the worst it has ever been in the last 90 years!
- Jeff will fight for tax fairness. In Pennsylvania, the top 20% of earners pay four cents in state taxes for every dollar they earn while the middle class pays ten and the poorest pay twelve. A system that taxes the poorest of its citizens at a rate three times higher than the its richest is the definition of unjust. If even just the top 20% of earners paid taxes at the same rate as the middle class, this would result in almost $7 billion dollars in additional tax revenue a year. Surely spending that $7 billion on education, healthcare and job opportunities is a far better investment than tax cuts for those who are already ahead of the game.
- Jeff will fight to end corporate tax breaks for out of state companies. In 1972, corporate taxes supplied 30% of the state's revenue. Today, it supplies 17%, a decrease of almost half. Meanwhile gas taxes increased over 80% between 2013 and 2016 and tolls on the turnpike have risen 130% since 2008. Something doesn't add up here. Jeff will fight to end loopholes that allow out of state corporations to pay low or no state taxes and will support reforms such as combined reporting to do so.