Bernie Sanders and his crew of progressive lawmakers have rolled out a fresh piece of legislation dubbed the “Tax Excessive CEO Pay Act.” This measure aims its sights at the big bosses who rake in over fifty times the paycheck of their average Joe employee. Depending on just how wide the pay gap gets, these execs could be looking at a tax hike ranging from a modest 0.5% to a whopping 5%.

A Campaign Against Corporate Greed

Bernie Sanders, the firebrand U.S. Senator from Vermont, who wears the badge of Democratic Socialist proudly and has thrown his hat in the ring for the Democratic presidential nomination in the past, is no stranger to pushing for social fairness and championing the rights of workers. He’s out there saying, “Americans are fed up with CEOs pocketing 350 times what their workers earn, especially when a staggering sixty percent of folks are barely making ends meet from one paycheck to the next.”

Ed Markey, Sanders’ comrade-in-arms, echoes the sentiment, blasting, “CEOs fattening their wallets at the expense of their workers to the tune of hundreds of times more is just not right.” Hailing from Massachusetts, Sen. Markey stands tall among the main supporters of this bill, declaring it’s high time to clamp down on those millionaire and billionaire CEOs making a killing.

Representative Barbara Lee pointed out that, according to Oxfam International, current economic trends could lead to the long endurance of systematic poverty. “With the shareholder class raking in greater profits than ever in history,” said Less, “I refuse to accept this future. As elected officials, we have a moral obligation to address this corrosive inequality at the source.”

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The bill’s other proponents include Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Senator Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, and Representative Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.

A Proportional Tax Increase

The bill proposes scaling tax increases in proportion to the disparity between a CEO’s pay and their typical worker’s. The scale would range from a 0.5 percent increase on companies whose top executives make 50 times or more than their specific employees. The taxes would increase for those paying their top executives 100 times or more, with incremental increases up to a maximum 5 percent increase. This most significant increase would be reserved for companies paying their top executives 500 times more than the typical worker.

Based on current corporate pay rates, Sen. Sanders and his allies have proposed that the bill would raise around $150 billion over ten years. They listed several top companies that would face significant tax increases under the new bill, including Google, JPMorgan Chase, Walmart, and Nike.

An Unlikely Future

Democrats control a narrow majority in the Senate, where they have struggled to pass economic bills similar to this one in the past. If the bill were to clear the Senate, it would then face consideration by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. With elections shortly, the bill’s proponents would likely struggle to find Republicans willing to support bills that go against their typically fiscally conservative paradigms.

Sen. Sanders and the others who introduced the bill are familiar with fighting for bills where the chance of success could be better. Sen. Sanders is busy with many such battles in the political arena, where he is also fighting high drug prices and pressuring fellow democrats to action about the conflict in Gaza. With so much happening, the Tax Excessive CEO Pay Act could be flattened into a campaign point for later in the election season.