Action Alert on Wealth Inequality: Ask your Congressperson to Co-Sponsor Rep. Barbara Lee’s OLIGARCH Act

Jun 21, 2023 | PDA News, Rapid Response

Wealth Inequality is out-of-control in the United States, at historically unprecedented levels. Please call your US House Rep. and ask them to be an original Co-Sponsor of Rep. Barbara Lee’s OLIGARCH Act.


US-capitol_crop_300.jpgOfficially titled the Oppose Limitless Inequality Growth And Restore Civil Harmony Act, this legislation, introduced by PDA Advisory Committee Member Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-12), is a brilliantly constructed wealth tax designed to address the outrageous degree of wealth inequality in the USA. 

Here’s what Barbara Lee’s team has said about the bill:

Extreme wealth inequality is more than just an economic injustice. It threatens the very foundations of democracy. This reality has been understood throughout American history. Thomas Paine said the freedom of elections was “violated by the overbearing influence” of inherited wealth. Abraham Lincoln believed we needed to tax extreme wealth to prevent aristocracy. Louis Brandeis famously observed “We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”  

What the tax does: 

To combat this threat to our democracy, we have created a tax specifically aimed at constraining inequality. The OLIGARCH Act would establish a wealth tax with four brackets: 

● 2% for all wealth between 1,000 and 10,000 times median household wealth; 
● 4% for all wealth between 10,000 and 100,000 times median household wealth; 
● 6% for all wealth between 100,000 and 1,000,000 times median household wealth; 
● 8% for all wealth over 1,000,000 times median household wealth. 

That, fellow PDAers, is sound policy for addressing wealth inequality in America!

So, please call your US House Rep. today (Wednesday the 21st) and ask them to sign on as an original co-sponsor to Rep. Lee’s OLIGARCH Act.

Thank you and Onward!

Alan Minsky for the PDA National Team




  1. Ira Dember

    Does anyone remember the late Sen. William Proxmire’s Golden Fleece Awards? They spotlighted what he viewed as egregious examples of government waste, fleecing taxpayers. These tongue-in-cheek awards captured the public’s imagination and generated a lot of free publicity.

    There are numerous Hall of Shame awards, some of which get attention. And, a project of the Institute for Policy Studies, publishes a weekly Petulant Plutocrat feature in its weekly newsletter. (Recommended.)

    In a similar vein — and to promote the OLIGARCH Act — I propose a parallel project, the Ollie Awards. They will spotlight (you guessed it) obscene examples of oligarch wealth and personalities, especially as they corrupt our government and disrupt commonsense democracy and common decency.

    Can you picture a glitzy or goofy tongue-in-cheek Ollie Awards periodic event? Inspired by this idea, I just registered the domain I’m open to anyone who’s also inspired by the concept and would like to collaborate on developing it as a project and website. Heck, maybe we could monetize it, too!

  2. Ira Dember

    I did a rough calc on how much tax a morbidly rich person would actually pay. If you’re at the lower end of this scale (poor you!), you’d pay an OLIGARCH wealth tax of $2.8 million a year. (Based on US Census, 2020 median household wealth = $140,800.)

    (Not to be confused with income taxation and income brackets. Numbers rounded.)

    2% annual tax of $2.8M to $28M … based on personal wealth of up to $1.4 billion.

    4% annual tax of $85M to $590M … based on personal wealth of up to $14 billion. (Effective tax rate at upper end of bracket: 3.8%.)

    6% annual tax of $820M to $8.2B … based on personal wealth of up to $141 billion. (Effective tax rate at upper end of bracket: 5.8%.)

    8% tax of $10B and up … based on personal wealth exceeding $141 billion. (Effective tax rate startS at 7.3%.)

    Disclaimer: I am not a tax wonk, or even good at math. Memo to CPAs and other knowledgeable people, please fact-check me. I applied my crude understanding of progressive income tax brackets, and still may have gotten it wrong.