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Bernie Sanders endorsed a 0.2% payroll tax hike to fund paid family leave

Sanders has largely advocated tax hikes for Wall Street and corporations

Washington CNN  — 

Bernie Sanders says it’s not just Wall Street and corporate America that would pay more if he’s elected president: All workers would face a slight payroll tax hike.

The Vermont senator who’s seeking the Democratic presidential nomination said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” that the across the board increase would come as part of his push to guarantee paid family leave.

Sanders touted a measure sponsored in the Senate by Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand of New York that would impose a new 0.2% payroll tax to finance family leave payments. The proposal would allow workers to get up to 66% of their salaries as paid family leave for up to 12 weeks.

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He acknowledged that tax would apply to everyone.

“Yes, it would,” he said. “But it would mean that we would join the rest of the industrialized world and make sure that when a mom has a baby, she can, in fact, stay home with that baby for three months rather than go back to work at the end of one week.”

Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist who has been elected to the Senate as an independent, has advocated for several other new taxes to pay for his potentially pricey policy proposals.

He has called for a tax on Wall Street speculation that would fund his plan to provide free college tuition at public universities.

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And he has sought to close what he has called loopholes that allow U.S. companies to stash profits overseas in order to pay for major new infrastructure spending.

“We have huge amounts of tax loopholes that exist for the wealthy and large corporations,” Sanders said Sunday. “We’re going to address that issue and protect the needs of working families and the middle class.”