While the tax code is progressive overall, loopholes and decades of unfair tax cuts have allowed the rich to get richer and left everyone else—especially women and people of color—behind. But it doesn’t have to be this way: we can fix the tax code so the wealthy and profitable corporations pay their fair share. For example, we could institute a wealth tax, change the way capital gains are taxed, and raise the corporate tax rate.1 These proposals need to be carefully designed and coordinated. A fairer and more progressive tax code would reduce racial and gender wealth gaps, advance racial and gender equity, and raise revenues to invest in our shared priorities.
These proposals are estimated to raise billions of dollars over a 10-year period. The revenues raised from these (and other) tax policies should be invested in priorities that would advance gender and racial justice, help ensure the health, safety, and well-being of women and families, and make the economy work for women. For example:
Child Care: Investing $700 billion in child care over 10 years would help make sure that children between the ages of 0 and 13 can access high-quality care, child care providers are paid a living wage, and no family pays more than 7 percent of their income for child care.2
Expanded Child Tax Credit: Investing $185 billion in the Child Tax Credit would expand the credit for one year from $2,000 per child to $3,000 per child for children ages six through 17, and $3,600 per child for children under six. It also makes the credit fully refundable on a permanent basis.3
Home– and Community-Based Services: Continued investment of at least $400 billion in HCBS over 10 years would create millions of new jobs, raise wages and improve working conditions for home-care workers, expand services and shorten waiting lists, and advance racial equity.4
Universal Paid Family and Medical Leave: An investment of at least $650 billion over 10 years would establish a national, comprehensive paid family and medical leave program that will guarantee twelve weeks of paid parental, caregiving, and personal medical leave and will replace at least two-thirds of worker’s average wages up to $4,000 a month.5
Fair Housing: A $290 billion investment in safe, accessible, and affordable housing would expand housing opportunities and help close the racial and gender wealth gaps through the first-ever national investments in homeownership for first-time, first-generation homebuyers. This investment includes $100 billion for down payment assistance,6 $75 billion to expand rental assistance to additional households,7 $70 billion to begin addressing the growing capital needs backlog in public housing and maintain existing units, and $45 billion for the National Housing Trust Fund to increase the supply of deeply affordable, accessible housing.8
Health Care: Investing $200 billion would permanently extend Medicaid-like health care coverage to low-income individuals—disproportionately people of color—in states that have not expanded Medicaid.9
Baby Bonds: Investing money in savings accounts for children from low-income families would combat wealth inequality to benefit those who have historically been left out of wealth-building opportunities like homeownership and higher education. One proposal for “baby bonds” would cost $650 billion over 10 years and would generate economic opportunities and support the financial security of the most marginalized.10
Nutrition Assistance: Investing $35 billion in crucial nutrition programs over 10 years would provide millions more children with access to healthy meals at school and would expand children’s access to good nutrition during the summer.11
Increasing Access to Affordable Higher Education: Investing $126 billion over 10 years would improve college affordability for low-income students by increasing access to Pell Grants and providing tuition assistance for students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and minority-serving institutions (MSIs).12
Fostering Safer Schools for Girls of Color: Investing $10 billion in the Ending Pushout Act over 10 years would help end the harsh discipline, discrimination, and criminalization that Black, Indigenous, and Latine girls face in school. This investment would establish federal grants to support states and schools that commit to banning discriminatory disciplinary practices, so these girls can stay in school.13 This investment would also strengthen data collection about school disciplinary actions and arrests which will make it easier to identify schools that need the most support.