Draft GPUS Platform Amendment Fair Taxation

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Old section title: True Cost Pricing and Fair Taxation

New section title: Fair Taxation

Section subtitle: Tax justice for America

Our Position: Most working Americans pay too much in taxes compared to corporations, multi-millionaires and billionaires.

Our current tax system is outrageously unjust. It is riddled with loopholes, subsidies and dodges for corporations and the super-rich. Many of our biggest and most profitable corporations pay little or no tax. Much investment income is taxed at less than the rate workers pay.

We can afford to cut taxes for most Americans if we make corporations and the super-rich pay their fair share.

Our tax system is far too complex. Greens want a simpler, fairer tax code.

Political democracy remains a distant promise without economic democracy. A principal instrument for achieving economic democracy is our tax system. Taxes are the means whereby we fund our public services. They can also help create equity, justice, health and sustainability.

Progressive taxation, shifting tax from individuals to corporations, taxing bads not goods, taxing unearned income at same rate as earned income, taxing speculation on Wall Street, and cutting corporate tax giveaways are the best ways to use the tax system to bring about a better America.

Green Solutions

Cut taxes for hard-working Americans

  1. People earning less than $25,000 per year, and families earning less than $50,000 per year (adjusted for inflation), should be exempt from income tax.  Federal and state income taxes must be strongly progressive. 
  2. Exempt groceries, other necessities and second-hand goods from sales taxes. 

Fair taxes for corporations and wealthy Americans

  1. End corporate welfare, such as the bailouts for Wall Street, the big banks and the automobile industry; subsidies for agribusiness, Export-Import Bank loan guarantees; tax abatements for big box stores; the tax loophole for “carried interest” from private equity and hedge fund managers; tax deductibility for advertising and business entertainment expenses; offshore tax avoidance schemes; giveaways for new sports stadiums and casinos.
  2. Impose a financial transaction tax on trades of stocks, bonds, currency, derivatives, and other financial instruments.
  3. Block financial transactions with tax havens, to stop tax evasion.
  4. Decrease the cap on the mortgage tax deduction for both federal and state income taxes.
  5. Restore the estate tax.
  6. Apply the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (Social Security and Medicare) taxes to investment income and to all levels of income, not merely the first $106,800 earned.
  7. Small wealth tax of 0.5% per year for assets over $5 million.

Eco-taxes to help save the planet

  1. Impose revenue-neutral carbon taxes on all fossil fuels, to help stop climate change. Carbon taxes should be applied as far upstream as possible, preferably when possession of the carbon-bearing fuel passes from extraction (for example, coal mine; oil wellhead or tanker; gas wellhead) to the next entity in the supply chain (for example, coal shipper or utility; oil refiner or importer; natural gas pipeline).
  2. Eliminate tax subsidies for the oil, gas, nuclear and timber and mining industries.
  3. Shift away from income taxes to taxing natural resource extraction, use, waste and pollution.
  4. Get the prices right with True Cost Pricing (TCP), an accounting and pricing system that includes all costs in the price of a product. TCP charges extractive and productive industries for the immediate or prolonged damage (pollution of air and water) and diminishment of natural resources caused by their acts.
  5. Impose a carbon fee on goods imported from nations with lower carbon taxes than in the U.S., based upon the carbon spent in manufacturing and transporting them to the U.S.

Taxes for a better, healthier America

  1. Simplify the tax code.
  2. Eliminate tax incentives to ship jobs overseas.
  3. Raise taxes on tobacco, alcohol, soda pop and junk food.