Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) speaks at a press conference alongside Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) on March 1, 2023.
Credit: Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images

“It is unacceptable that taxpayers are forced to spend billions of dollars subsidizing the retirement accounts of the wealthiest people in America,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders.

A report published Thursday by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office shows that the median retirement account balance of high-income U.S. households nearly doubled between 2007 and 2019 while those in the middle class saw their retirement savings stagnate—if they had savings at all.

The GAO report was commissioned by Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), who both pointed to the massive subsidies the federal government provides to tax-advantaged retirement accounts such as 401(k)s and individual retirement accounts (IRAs).

Citing Treasury Department data, the GAO’s new report notes that “the estimated federal tax expenditure, or annual net revenue forgone, for tax-preferred retirement accounts was over $195 billion in 2022.”

Those tax benefits flow disproportionately to high-income households. Daniel Hemel, a professor at New York University School of […]

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