Senator Bernie Sanders: Ending A Rigged Tax Code

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Tomorrow, March 25, 2021, the United States Senate Budget Committee will convene for a hearing on the U.S. Tax Code, led by Senator Bernie Sanders. The Committee will be discussing “Ending a Rigged Tax Code: The Need to Make the Wealthiest People and Largest Corporations Pay their Fair Share of Taxes.”


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Chuck Collins, Director of the Program on Inequality at the Institute for Policy Studies and  author of Wealth and Our Commonwealth (Beacon Press, 2003) with Bill Gates Sr. Chuck is a leading expert on how the wealthy avoid estate taxes and hide wealth – important issues as policymakers look to taxes to pay for COVID relief, economic recovery and infrastructure investments. His new book rips the lid of what he calls “the wealth defense industry,” which the super-wealthy use to hide and protect their wealth from taxation and other obligations. The book, “The Wealth Hoarders; How Billionaires Pay Millions to Hide Billions,” is available in many stores now (official publication date is April 2).

Ending A Rigged Tax Code

“Over the last two decades, the estate tax has become weakened and porous, thanks to billionaire dynastic families that spent millions lobbying to save billions. This culminated with Trump’s 2017 tax reform that raised exemptions to over $22 million for a couple.

“At the same time, the wealth defense industry – the tax lawyers, accountants, and wealth managers who billionaires pay millions to hide trillions – have been helping their wealthy clients with dynasty trusts, tax loopholes, shell companies, and off-shore tax havens.

Dynastic families like the Mars family and the Waltons seem to have avoided estate taxes as their wealth accelerates over the generations.” –Chuck Collins, Director of the Program on Inequality for the Institute for Policy Studies, where he co-edits the website

About Chuck Collins

Chuck Collins is the Director of the Program on Inequality and the Common Good at the Institute for Policy Studies, where he co-edits He is author of the popular book, Born on Third Base: A One Percenter Makes the Case for Tackling Inequality, Bringing Wealth Home, and Committing to the Common Good (Chelsea Green). His most recent book, Is Inequality in America Irreversible? is published by the Oxford, UK-based Polity Press. His forthcoming book, The Wealth Hoarders: How Billionaires Spend Millions to Hide Trillions (Polity) will be published in March 2021.

He is an expert on U.S. inequality and the racial wealth divide and author of several books, including 99 to 1: How Wealth Inequality is Wrecking the World and What We Can Do About It. He is co-author with Bill Gates Sr. of Wealth and Our Commonwealth, (Beacon Press, 2003), a case for taxing inherited fortunes. He is co-author with Mary Wright of The Moral Measure of the Economy, a book about Christian ethics and economic life. He was featured in this interview in Sun Magazine.

He is co-author of several IPS reports including “The Road To Zero Wealth: How the Racial Wealth Divide is Hollowing Out America’s Middle Class,” “Billionaire Bonanza: The Forbes 400 and the Rest of Us” and “Gilded Giving: Top Heavy Philanthropy in an Age of Extreme Inequality.”

He is co-founder of Wealth for the Common Good, a network of business leaders, high-income households and partners working together to promote shared prosperity and fair taxation. This network merged in 2015 with the Patriotic Millionaires. In 1995, he co-founded United for a Fair Economy (UFE) to raise the profile of the inequality issue and support popular education and organizing efforts to address inequality. He was Executive Director of UFE from 1995-2001 and Program Director until 2005.