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Statement: Taxing Excessive CEO Pay Will Help Close America’s Unjust Wage Gap

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) reintroduced the Tax Excessive CEO Pay Act. The bill would incrementally increase the corporate tax rate based on higher ratios between the CEO and median-paid worker. Bartlett Naylor, financial policy advocate at Public Citizen, released the following statement in support of the bill:

“Today, wealthy CEOs are paid more than 300 times the average worker – earning more in a year than many of their workers will earn in a lifetime. The Tax Excessive CEO Pay Act is long overdue and, if passed, will bring substantial reform to Corporate America and justice to workers.

“For nearly a half-century, the fruits of greater productivity by American workers have increasingly lined executives’ pockets while wages for average Americans stagnated. This important legislation would impose a tax penalty on wealthy corporations that overpay their CEOs and shortchange their workers. The larger the pay gap, the higher the penalty.

“Taxing excessive CEO pay is a model that works – it realigns incentives and encourages executives to fairly compensate their workers. The City of Portland has a similar tax and numerous states are considering similar legislation. We encourage the Senate to enact this legislation and level the playing field for hardworking Americans.”