Reduce the Wealth Gap and End Poverty for All Working Americans
All Texans deserve the dignity and opportunity to provide for their families. Despite technological advances, Americans are working harder than ever, yet they are less able to achieve the American Dream than ever before.
The primary flaw of our economic system is the antiquated belief that unregulated capitalist markets produce the most efficient outcomes. The United States exemplifies the abuses of such a system, as the wealthiest 0.1% of our population owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90%. The result is that 45 million Americans (14.5% of the population) lived below the poverty line last year, while CEO compensation continues to grow at a ludicrously disproportionate rate to that of hard-working, tax-paying Americans.
Capitalism is a useful tool for driving invention, but when the effective tax rate on billionaires is less than the tax rate on the middle class, there’s a flaw in the system that must be remedied. These tax breaks are not driving innovation, but instead creating a classist system where the power is concentrated at the top of the socioeconomic ladder.
We can shrink the wealth gap and reduce poverty through a progressive income tax that is fairly enforced and free of the loopholes that let the Donald Trumps of the world pay no taxes.
Raise the minimum wage to at least $15/hour. Although opponents of a minimum-wage increase argue that it would raise unemployment rates, recent economic studies have proven that due to the inelasticity of labor demand, the effect on unemployment would be negligible. Increasing the minimum wage would immediately help low-income workers climb out of poverty.
Expand and increase Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
- 28 million Americans currently benefit from EITC by receiving $2,500 on average, with the current system lifting 6.5 million people out of poverty, including 3.3 million children. Yet, nearly 10 million working people remain below the poverty line.
- Chris Perri will expand and increase the EITC to guarantee that all working people are raised above the poverty line, promoting human dignity and reducing the need for welfare benefits for low-income workers and their families.
- EITC program helps anyone who works, regardless of whether that work is part–time or part-year (for people suffering from disability, illness, or unemployment). EITC incentivizes people to find jobs.
- EITC benefits businesses because the program helps low-wage employees without raising the cost of labor for these businesses.
Chris Perri’s Progressive tax policy will increase overall government revenue for healthcare, environmental, and education initiatives, as well as save money by reducing the number of Americans dependent on welfare benefits.