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Bernie Sanders is a self-proclaimed socialist who railed against the power of the wealthy elite during his 2016 presidential run.
But despite that, he does not support the alternative minimum tax, which was enacted with the intention of making sure the uber rich pay their fair share of taxes.
The tax made headlines this week when MSNBC revealed President Donald Trump’s 2005 tax return. That’s because it cost the president nearly $31 million.
One way to look at the alternative minimum tax or AMT is as a secondary tax code. It has a set of rates and rules that are distinct from the regular tax code and apply to certain high-income earners, trusts, estates, and corporations. So when corporations or individuals fall under the auspices of the AMT, their tax bills are figured out differently than those of ordinary taxpayers.
The point of the AMT is to make sure wealthy Americans who earn above a certain amount pay a flat minimum tax rate – hence the name – even if they could get away with paying zero or very little taxes in the regular system. But many opponents of the tax say it now targets people in the upper-middle class, not the uber-rich.
WWBD, What Would Bernie Do?
Sanders does support a repeal of the alternative minimum tax, but that doesn’t mean he thinks the wealthy should get away with paying as little taxes as possible.
The tax plan Sanders proposed during the 2016 presidential election called for a repeal of the AMT. But it also called for a number of “provisions aimed at high-income households” that would essentially do what the AMT was intended to do: make sure the extremely wealthy pay their fair share.
According to the Tax Foundation:
“The plan includes several provisions aimed at high-income households: it would raise the top marginal income tax rate to 54.2 percent, tax capital gains and dividends as ordinary income, replace the alternative minimum tax with a new limit on itemized deductions, and expand the estate tax.”