Bernie Sanders unveils plan to raise corporate tax rate to 35% and ban stock buybacks

Key Points
  • Bernie Sanders introduces a plan that would reverse President Trump's tax cuts for corporations, returning the corporate tax rate to 35% from 21%.
  • The Corporate Accountability and Democracy Plan would also eliminate many of the tax breaks and loopholes in the tax code and do away with off-shore tax havens.
  • Sanders, who is recovering from a heart attack, reveals the new tax plan a day before the third Democratic debate.
Vermont senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders campaigns at the University of New Hampshire in Durham.
Preston Ehrler | SOPA Images | LightRocket | Getty Images

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders introduced a plan on Monday that would reverse President Donald Trump's tax cuts for businesses and return the corporate tax rate to 35% from its current 21%.

The Corporate Accountability and Democracy Plan would also eliminate many of the tax breaks and loopholes in the tax code and do away with off-shore tax havens.

The senator is also calling to democratize corporate boards, ban stock buybacks and diversify corporations.

The detailed plan includes these highlights, according to the campaign website:

  • Nearly half of the board of directors in any large corporation with at least $100 million in annual revenue, corporations with at least $100 million in balance sheet total, and all publicly traded companies would be directly elected by the firm's workers.
  • They would be required to consider the interests of all of the stakeholders in a company – including workers, customers, shareholders and the communities in which the corporation operates.
  • Large-scale stock buybacks would be "treated like stock manipulation" via repeal of the Securities and Exchange Commission's Rule 10b-18.
  • Rules would be developed to diversify corporate boards "ensuring a significant portion of every board be comprised of people from historically underrepresented groups." And they would require every corporation to "complete an annual report that gives the compensation, gender, and racial composition of board and employees."

The plan "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 Vermont independent's campaign website said. "When Bernie is president, we're going to put an end to the corporate greed ruining our country once and for all."

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According to the website, the plan would also require companies that are publicly traded or have at least $100 million in annual revenue or at least $100 million in their balance sheet total to give workers 2% of their stock until employees own at least 20 percent of the company.

Sanders, who is recovering from a heart attack, revealed the plan a day before the third Democratic debate that takes place Tuesday night.

Sanders, who considers himself a democratic socialist, has vowed to continue his candidacy, but he has slipped in the polls in recent months, falling behind rival Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., in many polls.

While the two are often lumped together as progressives, he is trying to accentuate the differences between himself and Warren, saying in an interview with ABC's "This Week" on Sunday that she is a capitalist and he is not.

"There are differences between Elizabeth and myself," he told ABC. "Elizabeth, I think, as you know, has said that she is a capitalist through her bones. I'm not."

Warren did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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