Taxes

Wealth Taxes Make Us Poorer

A new study finds that taxes on wealth reduce long-run GDP by 2.7 percent.

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Politicians are renowned for their shortsightedness. During the post-war period, for example, Republicans have very publicly opposed most tax increases. I like small government, so I'm good with that. Where I part ways with the Grand Old Party is with its failure to oppose big spending that's funded with debt, meaning future tax hikes.

Their lack of spending restraint, also encouraged by Democrats, is inconsistent and means that a new source of government revenue is likely in our future. And, if that is the case, it may very well be a wealth tax.

Support for taxing wealth (as distinct from income) has been picking up momentum in the United States as progressives have argued that the tax is an effective way to reduce inequality. We frequently heard calls for tax hikes on the rich like those during the Democratic presidential primary season when both Sens. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) prominently proposed such a wealth tax. And while Joe Biden hasn't endorsed a wealth tax, his spending plan is so vast that it's difficult to see how it won't be on his agenda soon. Always eager to demonstrate its progressive cred, California is considering adopting such a tax, which would make that state the first in the nation to do so.

A wealth tax has many problems. While it makes for great "soak the rich" soundbites, in reality, it's ineffective at reducing inequality. What wealth taxes do best is to disrupt the accumulation of capital. Since most wealth is invested and provides capital for innovators and producers to draw upon—and for workers to work with—all Americans would suffer from a wealth tax.

In a recent paper published by the Center for Freedom and Prosperity, economists John Diamond and George Zodrow of Rice University's Baker Institute added to the extensive evidence on wealth taxation's negative effects.

The authors simulated the Warren wealth tax's economic effects and how that impacts the lifetime earnings of different income groups. They estimate that long-run GDP would be 2.7 percent lower than it would be without a wealth tax. They also found declines in lifetime wealth from the upper to lower-middle classes.

To gauge the wealth tax's impact, Diamond and Zodrow had to make assumptions about how the money would be used. Paying down the national debt, for instance, has different implications for capital allocation than beefing up welfare programs. Since tax proponents tell us they prefer to do the latter, the simulation assumes that wealth tax revenues would be used for redistribution in similar proportions to current spending. The authors thus found small increases in lifetime per-household wealth for bottom income earners, ranging from $100 to $500.

These very small "benefits" (to use the term rather loosely) come at very high costs. Initial losses in average household income would amount to about $2,500.

Europe has traditionally shown a greater affinity for taxing wealth than the United States. But even in Europe, the administrative difficulties, low level of revenue collection and utter lack of impact on inequality have led many nations to abandon wealth taxation. Whereas 15 European countries have implemented wealth taxation, only three have stuck with it.

Nations like France, which dropped its wealth tax in 2018, learned the hard way that taxpayers don't sit idly by while the fruits of their life's labor are looted. They go elsewhere.

The wealthy are already fleeing California as it continues to increase its fiscal reliance on a tiny number of highly successful individuals. This trend cannot continue, and to quote economist Herbert Stein, "If something cannot go on forever, it will stop."

It's bad enough for legislators in the state with the nation's largest economy to hit the accelerator as they approach a cliff. It would be even more foolish for the rest of the nation to follow suit.

So, Republicans, if you really believe in lower taxes, think of that next time you feel generous with taxpayers' money.

NEXT: Mariska Hargitay Is Wrong About the Rape Kit Backlog

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  1. Sadly republicans no longer exist, they are democrats voting for more taxes and spending.

    Oh there are republicans who don’t want that. But they always lose. The ones asking for limited government get called fascists, racists, white supremacists, and libertarians.

    The former libertarians write for reason, take money from foundations, and assume anyone cares.

    1. Sadly republicans no longer exist, they are democrats voting for more taxes and spending.

      Trump seems to have been pretty good at keeping taxes contained.

      Money printing and deficit spending are undesirable, but you know the effect: it produces inflation. And you can hedge against that.

      1. All spending is taxes. So while he might have kept your taxes in check, he’s raised the taxes on future generations by signing these massive spending bills.

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        2. “All spending is taxes…”

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      2. Rump raised the taxes on Americans who buy foreign products. He is a life-long NYC liberal and TDS causes liberals on The Left and The Right to imagine he is a conservative

      3. This is a total disinformation piece and the author should be ashamed to have written it. It was Lincoln who decided the government should subsidize business. That is why corporations love the Republican party, they have been subsidized for hundreds of years. Give free taxpayer money to the rich and it is called incentives. Give free tax payer money to the poor it is called socialism. Every Republican president has cut taxes to corporations and so have Democrats.

        Remember Reagan with his trickle down bull. Nothing trickled down, instead it all whooshed upwards like a tornado into the hands of the rich 1%. It was during Reagan’s time when manufacturing started migrating to the commies in China, to exploit their teen aged slave labor. Today just about all manufacturing, everything we make, is made in communist China. We don’t even make our own penecilin and as we have seen with the covid crisis, we can’t even supply simple face masks, we have to beg the commies in China to sell them to us.

        During Eisenhower’s time, taxes on the very wealthy were as high as 90% and the economy was booming, it was America’s golden age. Men worked women stayed home. You could own a new home an a new Chevrolet on the income of the husband alone, a plain laborer. If you went to college, you were guaranteed a job when you got out.

        It began in the late seventies, more and more workers were loosing their jobs or had to accept lower wages and give up benefits as corporation, who were making record profits at the time, strong armed workers in accepting lower wages less they send their jobs to the commies in China. So to make up for the lesser amount of taxes the government was collecting, it increased worker’s income tax. Today, an average worker works three months for uncle Sam before he can keep what he earns for himself. So to be fair, why does not the US government do the same to the rich, have them give up a quarter of their money bag each year. The government should also add a tax to companies who ship job overseas and use that revenue to pay unemployment benefits to people these corporation put out of work rather making
        those Americans who are still working pay for it in higher income taxes.

        I find it extremely if not shameful that the very rich individuals and wealthy corporations refuse to pay their fair dues into a government that supports capitalism, a government that allows them to make a lot of money and keep most of it. The truth of the matter is and Leona Helmsley said it best “Only little people pay taxes.” And since then, little people pay even more, and the rich, pay much less than ever before….and they still aren’t happy. The author of this article is either clueless or a paid shill for the 1%.

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  2. Yes wealth taxes are terrible policy. However this argument will have little sway on the tax’s advocates. Why? Because their motivation is to soak the rich and they will cut off their nose to spite their face. A 3% lifetime reduction is fine if it means that you can aggravate rich people.

    Nevertheless, I feel strongly that the rich should pay their fair share. However it must be voluntary not forced (taxes). Rich people should fund resort colonies so people can retire and leave jobs for others to work and support themselves and thereby obviate both big government and charity. In return the residents live by strict rules of conduct and vote for small government and low taxes, and if placed in swing states, these colonies would ensure conservative wins for generations. Let the robots take over the heavy lifting and plant a trillion trees to offset climate change. This is the path to paradise as Jesus promised:

    And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. – Acts 2:44

    And yes I follow Elon and Pulte online and often suggest this but so far neither has expressed any interest. Nevertheless I think it’s amazing to have this avenue of communication! (I consider it a manifestation of the Holy Spirit.)

    1. Fair share? Exactly what is that? Given that the top quintile of US households now pays 70% of federal taxes, including payroll taxes, how much more is “fair”? 80%? 90%? How ethical and sustainable is a democratic system when a minority pays the bills–and the rest can vote how to spend, including on themselves?

      1. a fair share is everyone pays the same annual fee to the government, and if spending goes up by a trillion dollars, the 200 million adult taxpayers each kick in another 5 grand.

        1. The obvious problem is that you’ll have a hard time convincing someone working in, say, retail to pony up 5 grand whereas 5 grand for Bill Gates is probably less than what he spent on lunch.

          The other obvious problem is getting government to live off a tax the poor can afford.

          Hence the society we live in today.

          1. Government wastes boatloads of money. Even the most liberal, big government progtard could not deny this. So, the solution…….?

            They should get more, of course. Brilliant! Haha.

            As long as enough useful idiots buy into this ugly resentment, government will never have any incentive to live within a reasonable budget,

            We should all be paying the same amount, not rate. The very definition of fair.

        2. Depends how you measure it.

          If I make 20K a year, a $5 hamburger is .00025 of my yearly income or more like 10% of my daily income!. That $5 has to be weighed against paying rent.
          For someone making or rather accumulating a million a day, it is literally insignificant and doesn’t affect anything else.
          Level of pain is not equal.

          1. non qui parum habet, set qui plus cupit, pauper est

          2. (It is not he who has little, but he who wants more, who is the pauper.)

            1. Pretty sure it’s the millionaires who want more millions who “wants more” then the guy in poverty who just wants to make rent.

      2. Their fair share is whatever’s enough to prevent the socialists from taking their wealth by force. (How much is that? Read my comment and see.)

      3. Pew actually has a fair bit of data on the view of Americans on this topic. [link]

        That said, it’s important to remember distribution. Sure, the wealthiest 20% pays 70% of taxes, but even back in 2007, the wealthiest 20% had 80% of all the wealth. That is to say, a flat rate tax (rather then the supposed progressive tax rate we have) would have taxed them more. And while I don’t have specific 2019 numbers, it’s no secret that wealth inequality has been getting worse.

        How ethical and sustainable is a democratic system when a minority pays the bills–and the rest can vote how to spend, including on themselves?

        That’s a fair thought, but the corollary is that if you’re questioning the ethics and sustainability of such wildly inequal tax payments, you must also question the ethics and sustainability of such wildly inequal wealth. After all, you can’t tax what isn’t there, so if you want to more equally distribute the tax burden, you must necessarily more equally distribute the wealth.

    2. Politicians proposing wealth taxes aren’t trying to maximize tax revenues (except maybe the really dumb politicians). They are trying to convince a larger number of voters that someone else will be paying for the promised new programs and benefits.

      1. OK and if rich people don’t pay their fair share voluntarily, the people will take it by force. Of course, perhaps the rich will hire robots to protect them.

    3. I think I’d rather see a system that is allowed to only tax transactions, not things. Not taxing things ensures that those things do not become government things by taxation. Within “things” I would include labor as well, which is a nod to the idea that we are not slaves; we are the only creatures alive that can claim self-ownership…and demand payment for our time.

      “Voluntary taxation” is a contradiction, but if those who like to wear those rose colored glasses chose to continue wearing them, I might have a rationalization you can use to overcome…the thing you choose to blind yourself from seeing. This is the fact that taxation involves force. Yes, I said it: taxation involves the use of force. If you are reading this through tears please grab a tissue and read on…

      If you want taxes to appear voluntary tax only voluntary transactions. If you want a SUCCESSFUL “voluntary” tax, make sure that it takes a very low percentage…like 1%…of each transaction. This kind of tax is counter-intuitive: when people are free to keep their property and only pay for government when they need it (that is, to ensure their rights are not violated during the transaction), they create and trade more things. Keeping the tax small and simple ensures that the reason a trade does NOT happen is one about the economics of the transaction and not about the government’s “take”.

      I hope that wasn’t too racist for you Marxists snowflakes out there. I did use the word slave, but I made sure to also use the word Marxist, too. You see, I’m one of those guys out there who understand how the digital world works and I know that by associating those two words – slave and Marxist – into as many online forums as possible I am feeding the algorithms and strengthening the association. Marxists = slave holders. Marxism is Slavery. Modern students are slaves to their Marxist professors.

      Boy, how did I get onto the subject of Marxism? Oh, yeah…taxation: forced tribute to pay for something that might possibly kill or enslave you…especially if the tax collector is Marxist.

      See…I did it again!

      1. “I like a VAT (or “Valued-Added Tax”). That’s all you needed to say.

        1. A VAT is something different. A VAT depends on adding value to the property, a transaction tax only happens when a transfer of property occurs and is based on the negotiated price between the transferring parties. Value doesn’t have to be added, just transferred.

          The taxing authority has no say in what that value is…they just get a small cut.

  3. Wealth Taxes Make Us Poorer

    They know. They don’t care.

    1. In fact, they have said so on many occasions. Progressives have this notion that the best place to live is the kind of direct, tribal democracy Native Americans or pre-Christian Europeans had: poor but equal and close to nature.

      Of course the people most favoring that outcome are about as far away from that lifestyle as they can be; I think it’s because they hate themselves and (if they are progressives) know that they are phony.

      1. “Of course the people most favoring that outcome are about as far away from that lifestyle as they can be.”

        I’ve always noticed it. The staunchest environmentalists tend to be not just urban dwellers, but the closest dwellers to America’s most prominent city centers. They’re also the kind of people who are most reliant on what businesses and corporations make, from Starbucks to Amazon to social media. And don’t get me started on the whiteness of their neighborhoods.

        1. Democrats say soak the rich, but do what they can to avoid paying more. Like how John Kerry parks his yacht in Rhode Island to avoid paying taxes in Massachusetts.

          1. I liked John Kerry’s speech at the DNC. Complaining about Trump’s policies on Iran 2 days after he brokered a peace deal between Israel and UAE.

            1. Was Kerry advocating more planes full of cash?

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      2. I will listen to the Luddites when they kill half their young children every year.

      3. It’s because your typical urbanite is of the opinion that the city they live in is the whole world, and when they can fly from their home in New York anywhere in the world it makes it seem as if the planet is very small.

        If they had to take a boat from New York to London, they’d probably be cured of that mistaken belief. If they couldn’t fly from L.A. to New York, maybe they’d notice that most places don’t look like that.

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  5. We already have a wealth tax; we just call it “property taxes”.

    As far as I’m concerned, property taxes are the most unpleasant and immoral of all forms of taxation. They’re basically taxes for existing, and they make the word “looting” mentioned in the article very apt. Not to mention they raise the price of housing.

    That’s why I’d much rather pay a 1 or 2% income tax at the local and state levels. If you’re gonna tax me, then tax whatever I make and forget about me afterwards. Sending some state appraiser to determine the value of what you own, and then slap a yearly tax on it is just ugly and has a tyrannical feel to it. I’m surprised such a tax is so widely tolerated in the US of A.

    1. Was about to mention the same with regards to property taxes, however most things I’ve read regarding them (even from quote unquote “libertarians”) has been they are the most inoffensive tax (specifically land value tax).

      So on the one hand, I have a broad range of economists heralding the benefits of LVT, and on the other, a single study stating “wealth taxes” (of which LVT is a portion of) stating they make people poorer.

      What to do, what to do…

      1. Real property taxes (typically a LVT + structures) are more stable than taxes on activity. Real property doesn’t move and has a broad base. That is good for the government.

      2. I can see arguments for how property with its relatively stable pricing is different from stocks, paintings, and other forms of wealth, as far as taxation goes. How much a stock is worth varies minute to minute, which means what you are taxed on isn’t what it is actually worth.

        1. The expensive art that would bring in revenue has such a small market that values can fluctuate drastically from sale to sale. I would expect it all to drop in value with a wealth tax.

          1. The way that stuff’s value is measured in a wealth tax is via the insurance appraisal. IOW – if you want X paid to you via a government-enforced contract and for a thief to be imprisoned by govt based on that value – then PAY THE FUCKING TAX.

            Otherwise, screw govt enforcement of contract and/or govt laws re property theft/destruction.

            1. JFree once again arm-waves a solution which NO ONE ELSE LISTENS TO! So every one else must be stupid, not JFree!
              Hey, ignoramus, you think an insurance company is going to offer appraisals for goods which have become of highly variable values?
              Of COURSE you do!
              That’s the reason most of us here laugh at you.

        2. Real estate is harder to hide. That’s why it is taxed. It’s a leftover from feudal times.

          1. No, it’s not portable.

      3. That single study is a fraudulent three card monte game from the first SENTENCE of its executive summary. In this paper, we estimate the economic effects of the wealth tax proposed by Senator Warren using a computable general equilibrium model of the U.S. economy under the assumption that all revenues are used to increase income transfers (excluding Social Security payments) that accrue primarily to lower income groups.

        I have no idea whether that is actually the assumption of the Warren tax – but it doesn’t matter either. Immediately, the authors are going to ignore wealth and going to focus on income instead. That is fraud and a con game and exactly what happens in three-card monte.

        The authors do mention the three countries that do have wealth taxes – Switzerland, Norway, Spain. Two of which (Switzerland, Norway) are nominal tax rates (ranging from 0.15% to 1%) and intended SOLELY for the purpose of raising revenue from the economic class that has high assets but little income and that can therefore play games to avoid taxes on income. The third is intended a bit more punitively.

        The EFFECT of wealth taxes on those first two is the exact opposite of what the authors assert in their general con game. Namely, that the main effect of the wealth tax in Norway/Switzerland is for the wealthy to insist that their ownership stakes pay DIVIDENDS. It changes the very nature of the market itself – encouraging buynhold rather than financial asset churning. Actual return on investment rather than a roulette wheel at the casino run by financial agents/intermediaries.

        The revenues raised are nominal – a recognition that government itself does a lot of things that protect assets/ownership rather than income and that therefore those govt activities should be paid for BY THE BENEFICIARIES OF IT. No surprise – these two countries are significantly wealthier than the US – and better managed – with little/no capital drain. For their own very different reasons, Norway has high taxes but govt is a net creditor (iow – the only country where govt investment actually can mean investment) – and Switzerland has both a total debt level and federal spending % that is lower than the US has had since before the Great Depression.

        1. So poor people should pay taxes on welfare because they are the beneficiary of it?

          1. They do pay taxes. Called consumption/sales taxes.

            1. And specifically re Switzerland at least (idk about Norway). One of the effects of having lower overall spending AND having a wealth tax to raise revenue – means that marginal income tax rates can be much lower with huge exemptions. In their case I think the federal rate is a flat 12% tax with a 30k exemption.

              It means that even the lowest income folks can get ahead and build enough of a nest egg to reduce their perceived need for a safety net. Which reduces welfare spending demands too. Not only are the Swiss the wealthiest country in the world. They also have some wealth at the LOWEST quintiles – I think $10k at the lowest v $0 in the US.

              Vs the US which deliberately creates a poverty trap. ie – earn a little bit more income and you not only pay taxes on that but also reduce welfare eligibility for reasons that are purely punitive. Meaning there are income/household threshholds where earning income actually means they fall behind – an effective marginal rate over 100%.

            2. Essentially this. The idea seems to be to charge them consumption taxes then ‘refund’ some portion of those taxes via tax breaks and straight up redistribution from ‘the rich’ to ‘make up’ for it.

              It’s essentially a system to fool stupid people into thinking they’re getting paid. And it works on the vast majority of people, even those who really should know better.

              Of course, if you own a business you do know better. You’re in the minority, though, so congrats on living in a special brand of hell.

          2. No, rich people should pay for welfare as well because they benefit from having poor people to sex-traffic or to put to work in sweat shops. Rich people should pay for the police to fight the sex-trafficking as well. And rich people should pay for the labor agencies to fight sweatshops. And rich people should pay for the national parks because they are the only ones who can afford vacations to national parks.

            It’s pretty much rich people all the way down.

        2. “…. general con game……”

          Haha. Yes. People keeping more of “their own” money is a “con game”, cuz all money belongs to government, and we’re damn lucky they let us keep any of it.

          You are just the worst.

          1. At least I know the difference between wealth and income. You don’t. Which makes you a useful idiot

            1. You might know that, but, man, are you stupid!

            2. Oh, and a cowardly piece of lefty shit besides.

    2. And I would rather have a head tax, perhaps assessed at federal, state, and local levels, payable in cash or work hours.

      If nothing else, it would make more people question spending, especially for redistribution.

      1. and make spending hikes equally painful to all and more likely to be opposed

        1. Someone gets it. Never happen tho.

    3. Communist China doesn’t have property taxes. You want us to be more like China?

      1. See, unlike Jeffy, DoL, White Knight, and the new contender Lord of Shitrollze, sarcasmic actually has a sense of humor. He makes me smile.

    4. I’m confused…you are against a property tax, but you are in favor of an “income” tax. I’m sorry you feel that your income isn’t your property…

      Would you agree that property taxed by government can become government property, if the tax is not paid? Would it be a fair assessment of the consequences of I were to say that confiscation would result if you do not pay your property tax?

      If so, what form of confiscation would you approve of if, for the sake of argument, you did not pay your income tax? Would you approve of the government confiscating your…life? This could run the gambit of forms between jail, forced labor (roadside garbage, for instance), or…execution.

      I implore you to consider what you agree to and advocate for when I comes to taxation.

      Don’t tax labor…its the paved road to serfdom. Tax only transactions. If you want an idea of what that would look like, lots of states have sales taxes. Tax the value of an exchange only when an exchange occurs…keep those government mitts away from the things that produce wealth. Like land, money…and labor.

      1. Pet peeve: it’s “run the gamut,” not “run the gambit.”

  6. “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” — Margaret Thatcher

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  8. Wealth Taxes Make Us Poorer
    If you don’t believe that, talk to Governor Cuomo right now. He wants billionaires and multi-millionaires to return to New York where they pay a surcharge. He is willing to buy them a cup of coffee or cocktail if they come back, against millions in NY state taxes!
    Gov.Cuomo
    ““They are in their Hamptons homes, or Hudson Valley or Connecticut. I talk to them literally every day. I say. ‘When are you coming back? I’ll buy you a drink. I’ll cook. But they’re not coming back right now. And you know what else they’re thinking, if I stay there, they pay a lower income tax because they don’t pay the New York City surcharge. So, that would be a bad place if we had to go there.”

    1. They could lower taxes. At least they admit their tax system drives people away.

    2. …words that prove Gov. Cuomo is both stupid and ignorant.

      A dangerous combination for an elected official.

      1. And common, along with the conceit that they are the ‘smartest man in the room’; see moonbeam and his disastrous policies for which CA is now paying.

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  10. It’s not just the wealth tax, it’s what government does with that revenue. It’s never enough for all the spending they want to do and despite the fact that they like to call their spending an “investment”, it ain’t invested, it’s just buying more useless shit we don’t need and can’t afford.

    1. It’s mostly lining the pockets of donors. That excess and waste isn’t going into production costs.

      1. All this. Every time a politician supports an “investment”, that means they know somebody who could use a fat stack of cash.

    2. Not everything government does is a waste of money, but they do waste money on everything they do.

    3. The form a tax will take and the rates demanded are intimately connected to what the taxing authorities want to do with the money. If being reelected is their goal, taxes take the form of “from that guy” so they can buy votes promising to “give to the other”. The taxes are open and punitive…and high. Very high.

      If it’s to pay for your protection, the taxes take on a more indirect form and are considered a minor inconvenience. This is so that you never become upset enough to realize that it’s actually the government that you need protection from. Government tends to stay responsible when it is tasked with protecting individual rights…and the box is only opened when someone actually deserves to get clobbered.

      The first purpose – redistribution – needs to be funded by one of two things: direct taxation or debt. Modern governors have realized that they don’t need to make taxpayers pay the principle on the debt…they only need to make them pay the interest. By “governors” I mean anyone within the government trusted with the power to govern…and I use the word “trusted” in its loosest sense.

      Taxes can stay relatively low until the governors outspend the taxpayer’s ability to pay. What follows is a well-known phenomenon: sovereign default.

      There is a statistic used by currency traders to measure this: Liquidity Cover. It’s the number of times the tax revenue (income) will “cover” or pay for the public debt interest. It’s watched closely, along with the percentage of public debt to GDP. When the Debt to GDP percentage reaches 70% and goes higher, the timing of the sovereign default depends on the rate of deterioration of the Liquidity Cover.

      The USA has reached 108% debt to GDP percentage…and its Liquidity Cover is now 9.23.

      To put this into prospective, governments that are extremely responsible have a debt to GDP percentage of 0% and an infinite Liquidity Cover. Governments that are extremely irresponsible are…well, extinct.

      The 70% threshold is the historical point where economies that support “irresponsible” government pass the point of no return. Sovereign default or hyper-inflation (which itself is a form of default) becomes a certainty; it’s just a matter of time before the end begins and a matter of popular revolt before the end comes.

      From an infinite Liquidity cover to 9.23 is a fall that would best be described as “nearly over.” Forestalling this event are the controlling authorities who are manipulating the CBOIR (Central Bank Overnight Interest Rate) which, for the USA, is a rounding error away from 0%. It’s 0.09%, to be exact.

      If the fools who are running the show have their way, rates will go negative within the next decade. The Liquidity Cover will once again head for infinity, and no one holding either US Treasuries or US Dollars will be holding anything of positive value. Japan is a great example of this. So is Switzerland.

      This, in a nutshell, is the endgame of Modern Monetary Theory. The flaw in the theory is the acceptance of central banks and governments as legitimate substitutes for two activities that are better left to individuals: measuring value and charity.

  11. When this bill is introduced, truth in advertising laws will require it be named “The Accountants, Lawyers, and Government Auditors Guaranteed Jobs For Life” bill.

  12. “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of socialism is equal sharing of miseries.”

    The Left values equality of outcomes more than they value prosperity. They do not care if they make everyone poorer because they hate the rich more than they love the poor.

    1. If by blessings the author of your quote meant things that are not earned but rather…inherited…I agree. This is not a vice of capitalism, however. In fact, its neither a virtue or a vice of anything.

      And if equal sharing of miseries were a virtue, then I’m not interested in what other virtues the author of your quote holds as important. This quote is actually quite mindless.

      The Left – whom I prefer to call Marxists – are actually very interested in the poor. Marxist ideology requires an imperial relationship…a relationship that has a master and a slave. The Marxists see themselves as the “philosopher masters” and the poor as their “slaves” or subjects. Its very much like a religion, except the Marxist word for nothing is “Equality” rather than “God”.

  13. This argument only works if the people proposing the wealth tax actually care about helping the poor. They don’t.

  14. Why would some people support a wealth tax?
    Envy
    Greed
    Hatred of success and successful people
    Actual belief in communal or communist values
    Desire for strict uniformity, aka “equity”
    Denial and deflection of personal responsibility
    Political opportunism

    And why would we want to have people with these qualities in our society?

    1. Haha. “qualities”.

    2. “And why would we want to have people with these qualities in our society?”

      Because probably a lot of them will work for cheap.

      It would be bad if the rich abandoned the poor (randian tales), but the rich couldn’t get by without the poor. Some significant fraction of the world’s population has to be willing to work for cheap, or the rich thing doesn’t work.

      1. This makes absolutely no sense.

        Only in the most remote places – or Marxist paradises – do people die with less than what they were born with. These people have either never known how to capitalize on their talents, or their talents have been turned against them as the justification for their ritual sacrifice. The former being pygmy tribes in the jungle…the later being modern socialist paradises.

        For those unaware of what this moron means by “randian tales”, he’s speaking of The Strike…or Atlas Shrugged. There’s no coherence at all behind the “rich vs poor” bullshit; when productive people trade and become wealthy they make the productive people with whom they trade wealthier, too. This is the fact that Marxists ignore when they spout off about the “rich” exploiting the “poor”.

        Marxist thugs like Mr. Heffernan abhor freedom: free markets and free societies require people to trade self-valued, privately owned property and self-valued, privately owned labor. He doesn’t get to set the prices…he doesn’t get to loot the productive members of the culture.

        Marxists stay poor in a free society. Productive people become wealthy.

  15. They tried wealth taxes back in the 1970s in the UK. The Labour chancellor of the time later commented in his autobiography:

    ‘Another lesson was that you should never commit yourself in Opposition to new taxes unless you have a very good idea how they will operate in practice. We had committed ourselves to a Wealth Tax: but in five years I found it impossible to draft one which would yield enough revenue to be worth the administrative cost and political hassle.’

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  17. Equality is the lowest common denominator.

    So yes the purpose of wealth taxes is to destroy wealth and make people more equal.

    There is no justification for old people to have accumulated wealth while high school graduates can’t earn a living wage.

    Or something.

    It doesn’t help that most people seem to believe wealth and money are the same thing.

    1. So yes the purpose of wealth taxes is to destroy wealth and make people more equal.
      Except the inner party.

  18. You don’t need a study to prove that wealth taxes make a state or a nation poorer, just logic. First, wealthy people can leave and avoid the tax. Even with a 10 year clawback, they are eventually free and their money is gone. But even if they stay, a portion of their cash is transferred from them and handed to the politicians to spend. Wealthy people tend to be more productive than anyone else (or they wouldn’t be wealthy), but even unproductive heirs spend or invest their money freely, in an atmosphere of open competition of companies or individuals providing competitive goods and services. The government spends it based on perceived political advantage (and often corruption), funneling the cash to the connected or buying votes, rather than those offering the best value.

  19. >>extensive evidence on wealth taxation’s negative effects.

    what’s the term the kids love? feature, not bug.

  20. A study by the Center for Freedom and Prosperity being unbiased? HA!

  21. The rugby chick doesn’t need to worry. The rich have enough representation and political power to fend this sort of thing off for the duration. Even a hint of it creates jobs for lobbyists, lawyers, “think tanks” and various campaign finance graft. And a job for rugby, writing countless pieces like this.

  22. That’s a pretty amazing Fact when you consider that the government includes government spending in the GDP number. And since the Free Market determined government services are worth $0, they have to use Marx’s Labor Theory to assigned value,likely goosed to inflate the GDP for Big Spenders like Trump

  23. In other news, water is wet.

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  25. “Never tax those who own! Only tax those who work! Eat the peasants!”

  26. Meh.

    Congress is disproportionately full of Boomers, and Boomers will eat the young be voted out of office before they’ll tax their own retirement.

    So relax. You’ve got a few decades. And maybe you’ll be senile by then.

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  28. “Wealth Taxes Make Us Poorer”

    Of course they do–that’s one of the objectives. Democrats hate the concept of private wealth or of anything that gives ordinary people a fighting chance against their tyrannies.

    Of course, it also makes governments richer and more powerful–another Leftist objective.

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