Senator Budget Committee Chair Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), announced Friday that the committee would soon hold a hearing about how corporate greed is contributing rising prices and inflation.
The hearing scheduled for Tuesday will highlight a “level of corporate greed [that] has only widened the gap between the top one percent and the working class,” according to the press release. It will include testimony from Robert Reich, former Labor Secretary. Lindsay OwensDirector of Groundwork Collaborative, a progressive economic advocacy organisation.
“The American people are sick and tired of corporate greed,” Sanders said. “They are sick and tired of being ripped-off by corporations making record-breaking profits. They are sick and tired of being forced to pay outrageously high prices for gas, rent and food while large corporations make out like bandits.”
The hearing comes as rising prices continue to squeeze the working-class Americans and increase corporate profits. Inflation rose by 7 percent in 2021. Increased profits for corporates by 25 percent to reach nearly $3 trillion – a record high. CEOs and shareholders are benefiting heavily from these profits; last year, S&P 500 firms spent more than $900 billion.
Prices for basic necessities have also risen dramatically. The press release highlights that gas prices are up 38 percent, used cars prices have increased by 41%, and Tyson has increased its prices for meat products. Analysis from Bloomberg last weekThe average family will need to spend an additional $5,200 each year to maintain the same level consumption as in previous years.
Executives bristled about the fact that corporations were raising prices. As Owens wroteOn earnings calls in March, CEOs from many industries told investors that raising product prices has been a successful strategy to increase revenues and stock prices.
The Vermont lawmaker has been calling on Congress to address corporate profitseering. Sanders stated that the U.S. has become a oligarchic society due to billionaire wealth hoarding.
“The time is long, long, long overdue for Congress to start addressing the needs of the American people,” Independent senator. “Maybe, just maybe, we should do what the American people want, and not what wealthy campaign contributors want.”
In late March, Sanders Introduced a billIt would be able to capture almost all excess profits up to 2024. The Ending Corporate Greed Act would impose a tax on corporate windfall profit, which would capture 95 percent corporate profits beyond the average pre-pandemic level through 2024.
This would not be the first instance of similar taxes being implemented by the country to prevent corporate price gouging. The U.S. was involved in the Korean War and the second World Wars. taxed profits to ensure that companies weren’t taking advantage of wartime to pad their pockets.
Similar bills have been introduced in the past by other legislators; in February, lawmakers debatedWhether to give federal regulators greater power to crackdown on and ban corporate price gouging. Republicans claimed that high prices were caused by inflation and labor shortages. However, there are many industries. have been lobbyingFor their profit, they will not tolerate price gouging by corporations.