In favor of a wealth tax to fund a just recovery for California

Resolution

Whereas, the COVID-19 crisis and subsequent economic collapse along with the national uprising against police brutality and systemic racism have cast a glaring light on the nature of inequality in the United States within healthcare, criminal justice, the economy, and public education; and

Whereas, as most Americans have struggled economically the wealthy have prospered at their expense; and

Whereas, the Institute for Policy Studies has documented that billionaire wealth has boomed while over 70 million people have filed for unemployment insurance since March of 2020; and

Whereas, the percentage of taxes paid by billionaires has fallen 79% since 1980; and

Whereas, from March 2020 to the present U.S. billionaires’ total wealth has increased by a trillion dollars, or 36%, during the largest economic downturn since the Great Depression; and

Whereas, state budgets, including California’s, have been forced into a precarious situation due to the lack of significant aid to states and municipalities from the federal government; and

Whereas, California’s 165 billionaires’ net worth has increased during the pandemic by $235 billion, more than the entire California state budget; and

Whereas, California’s public schools face a precarious future of austerity if long-term revenue streams are not addressed; and

Whereas, social services and the safety net that serve the most needy students will also be in jeopardy unless the state budget is bolstered; and

Whereas, the suffering of millions of Californians during a time of national crisis is not justifiable while the most fortunate among us are enjoying historic gains in wealth; and

Whereas, a billionaire wealth or net worth tax could easily bring in many billions of dollars a year in new tax revenues; and

Whereas, these resources would help underwrite a just recovery for California that could ensure opportunity, educational equity, and good health for all Californians; and

Whereas, the CFT has a long, proud tradition of supporting social justice and progressive taxation to serve that end;

Therefore, be it resolved, that the CFT will advocate with the California Legislature, the governor, and the public for a wealth tax on the richest Californians to fund a just recovery for the state of California.