Advocating for Racial Equity in the U.S. Tax and Banking Systems

Advocating for Racial Equity in the U.S. Tax and Banking Systems

Senator Elizabeth Warren has taken a stand by calling on the Treasury Department to address racial discrimination within the U.S. tax and banking systems. This comes after the advisory board, the Treasury Advisory Committee on Racial Equity (TACRE), proposed reforms in December of 2022. In a letter dated May 9th, Warren expressed her concern that many of the recommendations put forth by the committee had yet to be implemented, particularly in areas such as the IRS audit process.

Despite the efforts of the 24 experts appointed by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to the committee, over 40 recommendations regarding U.S. economic factors impacting Black, Latino, and Native American communities have been slow to materialize. Warren emphasized that the implementation of these reforms is crucial in improving economic conditions for marginalized communities and promoting financial security for their families. She urged Yellen to take swift action in implementing the proposals to ensure progress in addressing systemic disparities.

Dorothy Brown, a committee member and tax lawyer, expressed concerns about the Treasury’s lukewarm response to the recommendations, viewing the committee’s efforts as a mere formality rather than a catalyst for change. Warren echoed these sentiments in her letter, highlighting the urgency for concrete actions rather than bureaucratic complacency. She called for transparency and accountability within the Treasury’s decision-making process to ensure the timely implementation of the remaining proposals, particularly those related to IRS auditing procedures and equitable distribution of tax credits.

Warren’s advocacy for racial equity aligns with President Joe Biden’s administration’s efforts to engage with communities of color ahead of the upcoming presidential election. While facing pushback from Republican senators regarding the formation of the committee, Warren lauded a recent Treasury rulemaking that incorporated one of the recommendations on sharing tax data with the Census to monitor racial disparities in tax enforcement. However, she emphasized the need for continued action on other proposals, such as analyzing the impacts of Biden’s tax policies on households of varying race and income levels, as well as ensuring equitable distribution of clean energy investments.

Senator Elizabeth Warren’s impassioned plea to the Treasury Department highlights the persistent need for reform within the U.S. tax and banking systems to combat systemic discrimination. By advocating for the swift implementation of recommendations proposed by the TACRE, Warren underscores the significance of addressing economic disparities that disproportionately affect marginalized communities. It is imperative for the Treasury to prioritize these reforms to achieve greater equity and financial security for all Americans, regardless of race or background.


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