During a House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee hearing on tax reform Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) insisted that federal tax policy must acknowledge and address the growing income gap leaving more hard-working Americans struggling to raise a family and get by in retirement.
(To watch Rep. Higgins’ testimony click above or go to: https://youtu.be/cKf7Pme7lt8?t=3h40m37s)
Higgins pointed out that despite positive economic indicators, including job growth, low unemployment and stock market increases; there is great civic unrest relative to the U.S. economy. “There is something underlying that isn’t being addressed and I would argue that it’s income inequality…”
A June 2016 Congressional Budget Office report that examines the “Distribution of Household Income and Federal Taxes” illustrates the growing income gap between low and middle-class families and the wealthy:
The Economic Policy Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank that examines the needs of low and middle-income workers, also examined the divide in a September 2015 report titled: “Understanding the Historic Divergence Between Productivity and a Typical Worker’s Pay” finding:
“The hourly compensation of a typical worker essentially grew in tandem with productivity from 1948 to 1973. After 1973, these series diverge markedly. Between 1973 and 2014 productivity grew 72.2 percent, or 1.33 percent each year, while the typical worker’s compensation was nearly stagnant, growing just 0.22 percent annually, or 9.2 percent over the entire 1973–2014 period.”
House Republicans are advancing efforts to implement changes to the federal tax code, including corporate tax breaks, this year.
Higgins argued massive tax cuts for the wealthy don’t trickle down and therefore don’t work.