US Senator Bernie Sanders published an opinion piece on CNN.com, calling for an end to the “global oligarchy.” Sanders is referring to a state in which “a handful of billionaires now own and control a significant part of the world economy.”
“Here in the United States, the top one-tenth of 1% owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90%. Incredibly, according to a recent report from the Institute for Policy Studies, three of the richest people in America — Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffett — now own more wealth than bottom 160 million people in our country.
But this is clearly not just an American issue. It is a global issue. While millions of people throughout the world live in dire poverty, without clean drinking water, adequate health care, decent housing, or education for their kids, the six wealthiest people in the world as ranked by Forbes Magazine own more wealth, according to Oxfam, than the bottom half of the world’s population, 3.6 billion people.”
Sanders wrote his op-ed not long after the Paradise Papers released.
The Paradise Papers are a collection of 13.4 million electronic documents detailing the offshore financial information of some of the world’s wealthiest and most influential people — including Queen Elizabeth II, Columbia President Juan Manuel Santos, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and more.
It is the second-largest data leak in history, followed only by its predecessor — the Panama Papers.
“Even before these revelations, we knew that tax dodging by the wealthy and large corporations, not just in the US but globally, was taking place on a massive scale,” writes Sanders.
“In 2012, the Tax Justice Network, a British advocacy group, estimated that at least $21 trillion was stashed in offshore tax havens around the world. In other words, while governments enact austerity budgets, which lower the standard of living of working people, the super-rich avoid their taxes.”
Bernie Sanders ripped President Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers for pushing a tax reform plan that he says will primarily benefit the top one percent and largest corporations in America, and make it easier for companies to shelter profits overseas “and pay zero in taxes.”
Sanders recently appeared on a CNN stage with US Sen. Ted Cruz to debate the GOP tax plan and discuss the future of tax reform in the United States. Watch the video above.
You can read Bernie Sanders’ full op-ed here.