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5 former Treasury secretaries back Biden’s plan to increase tax enforcement on wealthy

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Five former Treasury secretaries are supporting President Biden’s plan to increase tax enforcement on wealthy Americans. 

In a New York Times op-ed published Wednesday, former Treasury Secretaries Timothy Geithner, Jacob Lew, Henry Paulson Jr., Robert Rubin and Larry Summers all agreed that the country has to strengthen its tax system by collecting uncollected taxes. 

“While we are not in agreement on many areas of tax policy, we believe in the importance of strengthening the tax system to do more to collect legally owed but uncollected taxes — which, left unaddressed, could total $7 trillion over the next decade,” the secretaries said in the op-ed. “We are convinced by the strength of our experiences that more can be done to pursue evasion in the ways outlined by President Biden’s recent proposal to increase the resources and information available to the I.R.S.”

The secretaries pushed for the passing of Biden’s American Families Plan, which would require the wealthy to pay higher taxes, and cited Biden’s proposed call for an $80 billion investment over the next decade for the IRS, which has seen cuts over the past 25 years. 

“We are convinced that better information-reporting requirements can be designed that will permit significant increases in revenue collection without imposing any burden at all on taxpayers and imposing no significant increase in regulatory burdens across the economy,” the secretaries said in the op-ed. 

The op-ed comes after nonprofit news organization ProPublica reported on wealthy Americans such as Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and investor George Soros, all of whom paid little or no taxes in a 15-year span.

Tags Elon Musk Internal Revenue Service Jeff Bezos Joe Biden Michael Bloomberg The New York Times Timothy F. Geithner

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