When Bernie proposed a wealth tax two years ago, senators refused to support or praise it. Undeterred, Bernie is now campaigning for an expanded version of his original idea.
|Sep 24||Public post|| 40|
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In 1997, Bernie first floated the idea of a tax on billionaires’ wealth. In 2017, Bernie released a proposal for that kind of wealth tax — and Buzzfeed reported that no other senator was willing to publicly support or praise it.
That hasn’t deterred Bernie - on the contrary, he is now campaigning for an expanded version of the wealth tax idea that he originally pioneered.
Click here to read the entire plan, which was released today.
Bernie’s wealth tax concept is designed to tax overall wealth not annual income — and it is structured with progressive rates starting at wealth above $32 million, meaning only a tiny handful of extremely rich people will ever pay it.
Bernie’s plan will generate more than $4 trillion of revenue for all sorts of new public investments. It will also combat the extreme economic inequality that can undermine economic growth. Economist Gabriel Zucman noted that Bernie’s plan is the one that would most rigorously tax billionaires, and it “would make it much harder to remain a multibillionaire durably.”
And that is part of the point: as Bernie says in today’s New York Times: “I don’t think that billionaires should exist…This proposal does not eliminate billionaires, but it eliminates a lot of the wealth that billionaires have, and I think that’s exactly what we should be doing.”
For decades the billionaire class has been gorging on tax breaks, tax loopholes and government subsidies. The result of that greed can be seen in Federal Reserve data showing that over 20 years, the top 1% has increased its net worth by $21 trillion while the bottom 50% has seen its net worth decline by $900 billion.
Bernie’s wealth tax would begin reversing this trend by forcing billionaires to start paying their fair share. In all, America’s 608 billionaires in America would pay about $200 billion more in taxes based on their current net worth.
Under Bernie's wealth tax this is how much more some of the richest people in America would owe this year in taxes:
The Walton family - $14.8 billion
Jeff Bezos - $8.9 billion
Charles Koch - $3.2 billion
Sheldon Adelson - $2.6 billion
Rupert Murdoch - $1.28 billion
Carl Icahn - $1.2 billion
Bern after reading,