Why Warren’s Wealth Tax Could Be Good for Investors | Say What?

The richest 100,000 American families hold about $16 trillion in net assets. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and some of her fellow Democrats want to tax a fraction of that each year. Despite being another tax, several features of the proposal may improve American economic dynamism. ––

–– Warren (D., Mass.) and her colleagues would have these ultrarich households pay the government a 2% yearly carrying fee on any wealth above $50 million, with a 1% surcharge applied to any wealth above $1 billion. The first $50 million of each household’s net worth—about $5 trillion of the $16 trillion total—would be exempt from the fee. The vast majority of American household wealth would also be exempt, because 99.5% of U.S. households have a net worth below $50 million. Compliance would be enforced by auditing each ultrarich family about once every three years.

Source: Why Warren’s Wealth Tax Could Be Good for Investors | Barron’s

I’m not qualified to argue the economics merits of this proposal and certainly I don’t have personal stake in such a tax. You can see the argument for the tax at the link above.

However, I do think about the philosophy behind such a tax, I think about where it could lead.

🧐I think about an America where financial success is only to be envied and degraded.

🧐I think about the consequences of long term spending commitments based on such a tax only to have a sharp decline in wealth from time to time.

🧐I think about 0.5% of Americans being treated differently in addition to progressive income taxes and expected to carry the rest of us (relatively speaking)

What does it all mean, where are we headed? Do we want to change the basic structure of America? Just how far are we going making Americans dependent on government paid for by a decreasing segment of the population?

9 comments

  1. Sounds a lot like the AMT, “Congress enacted the AMT in 1969 following testimony by the Secretary of the Treasury that 155 people with adjusted gross income above $200,000 had paid zero federal income tax on their 1967 tax returns.”

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  2. The last sentence: “Just how far are we going making Americans dependent on government paid for by a decreasing segment of the population?”

    What does that mean? Is the “decreasing segment of the population” the poor, after many years of tax cuts benefiting the wealthy? Or do you mean this to refer to the disadvantaged wealthy who are going to be victimized by a wealth tax which might leave them suffering under the burden of a tax aimed at them (poor things!)?

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  3. Violates the 5th amendment as a taking of property without just compensation. “… nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation …”

    Violates Article I, Section 8, Clause 1 of the US Constitution: “… The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States; …”. .
    Note that the federal estate tax is not a tax on wealth of the decedent, but an excise tax on the privilege of transferring wealth to a survivor.

    As our federal government is one of enumerated, limited powers, there is no provision in the U.S. Constitution for a wealth tax.

    Are any of you surprised that the D’s want to do stuff that is unconstitutional, “violating our norms”, etc.

    All of you who voted for that idiot or the Bernie idiot or the Feinstein & Swalwel chinese puppets should be real happy …

    However, as President Ford once said, “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is a government big enough to take away everything that you have.”

    And, to paraphrase Martin Niemöller, when Senator idiot says it only applies to individuals with $50+MM (just like the initial income tax only applied to 3% of the population, individuals with a 1913 income of $3,000): “First they came for the billionaires, and I did not speak out—because I was not a billionaire. Then they came for the millionaires, and I did not speak out— because I was not a millionaire. Then they came for the property owners and capitalists, and I did not speak out—because I was neither a property owner nor a capitalist. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

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  4. Hello everybody! SO, I’m wondering how does this idea differ form our current tax structure? Right now, if you won the lottery, the Government would tax what ever the winnings are…if the top 0.5% of the population with net-worth’s above $50MM can’t afford to pay the ~ 3% tax being proposed, why should anyone else be forced to pay the 30% taxes imposed on lottery, game show, casino, raffle winnings? I don’t have a problem with the extra 3% tax burden on them…they probably pay a lot less taxes on a marginal tax basis than 70% of the rest of the population, because of all of the deductions they are allowed…

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    1. It’s not a matter of afford, but the concept. There is no 30% tax on winnings. They are paid at the individuals tax bracket regardless of income source. Don’t confuse mandatory withholding with taxes actually paid.

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      1. RD – There is a high tax on lottery winnings over $163,301. 32% And when you win millions it averages 40% state and federal taxes. Your wrong on this one. Of course if you invest your lottery winnings correctly you may end up paying less. But, how many big lottery winners are going to go to the trouble of correct investment of winnings ??? We need a flat tax where everyone pays the same percentage, but that will never happen. Because the rich love their tax deductions. In the 1960s corporations paid 60% of the federal income tax, today they pay about 15%.

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      2. The tax on lottery winnings (some states don’t tax them) are simply added to all other income. There is no special tax. Needless to say, winning the lottery is likely to put a person in the top income tax bracket.

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  5. Fake Pocahontas lied about her ethnicity to play the victim card for career advancement and now makes a small fortune living off the taxpayers endorsing socialism…smells like another democrat.

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