>>> zone tonight. on thursday, the republicans in the house are going to unveil their new round of spending cuts. they say they will cut on the floor 15% of discretionary spending from the domestic budget, including the money needed to regulate the banks. how convenient. they also want to cut money for food safety. yeah, who needs safe food? now, why do we need they so-called — they’re definitely drastic, but why the so-called cuts? because they blew up our budget over these massive tax cuts. republicans are addicted to these tax cuts. every time they run for office they promise move. they love to tell you that the democrats want to take more of your hard-earned money. well, this weekend the president unfortunately fed the freak-out machine with this comment.
>> do you deny you’re a man that wants to redistribute wealth?
>> absolutely. i didn’t raise taxes once. i lowered taxes over the last two years.
>> that revved up the right-wing blogosphere and immediately started call obama a liar. they pointed to the 0.9% medicare tax that people making over $200,000 will pay starting in 2013. they got him. and the tobacco tax obama signed shortly after taking office as well. and of course the infamous tanning tax. how will the republic survive all these new taxes? yes, snooki and john boehner will have to pay a bit more to maintain their orange glow, but i don’t think anyone really believes these are major tax hikes. let’s look at what is really going on with taxes. i love doing this show, because i get to give you the real fact. for the third year in a row, americans are paying less in federal taxes than they did under george w. bush. pause? did you get that? you’re paying less taxes under obama than bush. income tax payments this year will be almost 13% lower than in 2008. corporate taxes will be down by a third. in fact as a person of the economy taxes are at their lowers level since — wait for it — 1950. that was 61 years ago, and taxes over the past couple decades are nothing compared to what they were throughout most of the 20th century. today the to the marginal rake is 20%. in 1944, the top tax rate was 94%, and stayed at 91% or higher for a 13-year stretch from 1950 to 1963. now, remember those are the years that a lot of people, including conservatives believe were the golden age of america. ‘em by the time ronald reagan was elected, the top tax rate was 70%. am i saying i want it to be at 70% or 94%? no, i’m not saying that. it hurts me to pay taxes. it hurts everybody. nobody likes to do it, but we need balance here. we can’t be at a 61-year low, and also can’t be at 94%, but they don’t listen to reason. they’re like, no, cut it, cut it. should we stop cutting now? no, cut it! okay. come on. balance the reason. that’s what we try to explain on this show. we’re going to keep trying joining me is bernie sanders of vermont. senator sanders, do you agree that our tax base is a bit out of whack right now?
>> what i believe is at a time when the wealthiest 1% earn more income that can the bottom 50%, when the middle classes in steep dlan, what we have seen in recent years are huge tax breaks that primarily benefited the wealthiest people. what you got today, cenk, is somebody like warren buffett pointing out that his effective tax rate– the real taxes that he actually pays are lower than his secretary’s, and at 16% is lower than many police officers or teachers or nurses. what we have seen are massive tax breaks to the wealthiest help drive up the deficit and national debt and our frens are saying, gee, we have to kit medicare, medicaid and social security. i think that’s hypothetical critical.
>> and we’ve broken another report back to the 1928 numbers for the top 1% owning about 24% of the nation’s wealth. that’s wildly disproportionate, but to the very important question. what can you do about it?
>> there’s a lot. for example, right now, according to a congressional study, we’re losing about $100 billion a year in revenue, because compses and 89 wealthiest people in this country are putting their money in tax havens in the cayman islands, in bermuda and other countries. there’s a picture on the budget committee of one building, a four-story building, i’ll get it the next time on the show. four-story building which, quote/unquote, houses 18,000 companies. got that? all that that means is these companies are using that address as a way to establish residency in the country and not pay taxes.
>> last year exxon mobil in 2009 paid zero federal income taxes. in fact they got 156 million rebate. general electric paid nothing in taxes. chevron paid nothing in taxes. bank of america paid nothing in taxes. if we are serious about dealing with our deficit crisis in a way that is fair, you’ve got to end those loopholes. we’ve got to do away with corporate loopholes.
>> but senator sanders, when you say hey, wait a minute, you can’t go to the cayman islands, who stops you?
>> you’re going to have virtually stuff republican and they’re about representing the relateiest people. they want to repeal — i want people to hear this. they want to repeal the estate tax, $1 trillion in tax breaks to the top 3/10 of 1%. the very, very wealthy, and then they have the snuff nerve to say we’re worried about the deficit. we’ve got to rally the american people to say, enough is enough.
>> they put you in a rhetorical hole. they lower taxes, whether it’s the corporate taxes, taxes on the top 1%, and then when you come in office. they say aha democrats are raising your taxes. i think you portrayed the scenario. we have to understand in a recent 25-year period, 80% went to the top 1%. to say the people who are doing fantastically well, that they have got to pay their fair share of taxes. we’ve got to understand that taxes millionaires and billionaires is different. with the middle class in decline, i support tax breaks for working families, but to say we continue to game whose incomes are soaring, i think that’s absolutely absurd. it drives up the definicit.
>> all right, senator bernie sanders from vermont, thank you so much for joining us tonight.