BURLINGTON, Vt., Jan. 7 – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) issued the following statement today in response to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) ruling out more revenue to help lower deficits:
“Sen. McConnell is dead wrong when he rules out additional revenue as part of the solution to our deficit crisis. He is also wrong when he suggests the solution to the deficit situation is to cut Social Security, veterans’ benefits, Medicare and Medicaid.
“The fact of the matter is that tax revenue today amounts to only 15.7 percent of GDP, nearly the lowest in 60 years. Despite Sen. McConnell’s position, the lack of revenue coming into the federal government must be addressed.
“Today corporate profits are at an all-time high, while corporate income tax revenue as a percentage of GDP is near a record low.
“At 1.6 percent, corporate revenue as a percentage of GDP is lower than any other major country in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, including Britain, Germany, France, Japan, Canada, Norway, Australia, South Korea, Switzerland, Norway, Italy, Ireland, Poland, and Iceland.
“In 2011, corporations paid just 12 percent of their profits in taxes, the lowest since 1972.
“In 2005, 1 out of 4 large corporations paid no income taxes at all even though they collected $1.1 trillion in revenue over that one year period.
“Large corporations and the wealthy are avoiding more than $100 billion in taxes every year by setting up offshore tax shelters in places like the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and the Bahamas.
“At 15.7 percent, revenue as a percentage of GDP is at or near the lowest level in sixty years.
“I look forward to a serious debate in the Senate about how we do deficit reduction in a way that is fair. At a time when the middle class is disappearing and the number of people living in poverty is at an all-time high, do we cut programs that working families desperately depend upon, or do we ask the wealthiest people and largest corporations – all of whom are doing phenomenally well – to start paying their fair share of taxes?”