Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is seen on the Campus of Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas, on September 12 for the third primary debate. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
Oct. 14 (UPI) -- Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders unveiled a tax reform plan Monday that would overturn wholesale changes to the U.S. code made by President Donald Trump's administration nearly two years ago, and restore the corporate tax rate to 35 percent.
Sanders outlined the move in a proposal titled "Corporate Accountability and Democracy Plan," which would eliminate tax breaks and loopholes in the Trump tax code and do away with off-shore havens. The changes enacted in 2017 set the corporate tax rate at 21 percent.
"We will give workers an ownership stake in the companies they work for, break up corrupt corporate mergers and monopolies and finally make corporations pay their fair share," the plan states.
Sanders, who is presently recovering from a heart attack, revealed the plan one day before the fourth Democratic debate in Ohio. Recent polling shows a slight decline for Sanders among Democratic voters, perhaps due to the health scare.
"For too long, these greedy corporate CEOs have rigged the tax code, killed market competition, and crushed the lives and power of workers and communities across America," Sanders' plan says.
"Year after year we've seen wages slashed and thousands of workers laid off, all while the richest corporate CEOs pay themselves huge bonuses. They got away with it through a broken campaign finance system, where a few large campaign donations can get you the ear of any politician.
"Enough is enough."
The Vermont senator, who's partial to employee-owned businesses over large corporations, said he plans to establish the Democratic Employee Ownership Funds -- in which companies with $100 million in annual revenue would be required to contribute at least 2 percent of stock to workers every year until the company is 20 percent employee-owned. The workers would also receive voting rights.
Sanders said his plan would benefit 56 million workers at more than 22,000 U.S. companies.
The plan also includes a $15 federal minimum wage -- a more than two-fold increase over the present hourly wage of $7.25, set in 2009 -- and ban large corporate stock buybacks. It would also require corporate boards consist of historically underrepresented groups.