wealth tax

Elizabeth Warren's Wealth Tax Would Hurt More Than Just the 'Tippy Top'

Wealth tax proponents claim only super rich people would be affected. But to raise the revenue Warren, Sanders, and Biden want, they'd have to tax the "working rich"—doctors, lawyers, and other hardworking high earners.

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When running for president in 2020, Elizabeth Warren championed trustbusting and Medicare for All, the Green New Deal and regulation of big banks. But her plan's pièce de résistance was a proposed "2-cent" tax on "ultra-millionaires." She chirped that it would fall only on the "tippy-top," that tiniest fraction of 1-percenters who have accumulated the most wealth in America. Taxing the wealth of the tippy-top isn't just a Warren concept, though. Just last week, President Joe Biden announced the newest rendition of his budget, which calls for a wealth tax on households worth more than $100 million. 

"A family with a net worth of more than $50 million"—or the richest 75,000 households—would "pay a 2% (or 2 cents) tax on every dollar of their net worth above $50 million and a 6% (or 6 cents) tax for every dollar above $1 billion," Warren said. The $3.75 trillion in revenue she hopes to bring in with this tax over the next 10 years would be key to how she plans to pay for other items on her big-government wish list, like canceling student debt and free universal pre-K and Medicare for All. 

Other estimates, however, like one from the Tax Foundation, say Warren's tax would bring in only about $2.2 trillion. But her spending plans would cost more than $30 trillion over the next decade according to estimates by The New York Times.

Warren's attempts to make such ambitious spending plans seem easily paid for is a form of smoke and mirrors common to big spenders on the left, even those who aren't tethered to $30 trillion agendas like Biden. These plans, and the rhetoric with which they are promoted, indulge in a fantasy that expansive, expensive progressive agendas can be paid for exclusively by taxing the superrich, without any direct cost to ordinary taxpayers, or even to the affluent. 

The reality is that in order to actually raise the amount of money progressives like Warren want to spend, they'd almost certainly need to tax a much larger base: the "working rich." 

The "idle rich"—the multimillionaires who progressives like to portray as sitting on huge piles of money they inherited or earned via unsavory means—just aren't large enough to serve as an actually useful tax base. They're some of the wiliest folks around, ready to move money overseas or engage in tricky tactics to avoid the prying hands of the federal government if incentivized to do so. Many countries that have implemented wealth taxes have later reversed those decisions due to capital flight and impracticalities of enforcement, including Austria, France, Sweden, and the Netherlands.

Every time Warren talks about her paid-for wish list proposals, she's talking about taxing the working rich. The reason why it never happens, though, is because it would be political suicide to tax such a key constituency.

***

Think of rich people in America as divided into two camps. "Idle rich" may be celebrities or people who sold massive companies or inherited vast sums. Perhaps they own yachts. Perhaps they have the last name Walton or Sackler or Hearst. 

"Working rich" are different. You may interact with them. You may be them. These are doctors and lawyers and other high-earning white-collar professionals in large and mid-sized cities. They're not untouchably rich—not private jet rich, butler rich, or yacht rich. In many cases, they were born on second base—beneficiaries of solidly middle-class parents who helped them attend good secondary schools or pay for college—but were not silver spoon-fed. They may have taken on debt to get advanced degrees before ultimately working in high-grossing industries.

Though there's no hard and fast rule as to what level of wealth or income warrants this label, an Economic Policy Institute report from 2018 indicates that "a family in the US needs an annual income of $421,926 to be in the top 1% of earners." And to be in the top 5 percent of earners, a family would need an annual income of about $250,000. Depending on debt and assets, people in these brackets might qualify as working rich.

In fact, Elizabeth Warren herself is a great example of the working rich she would need to go after. Born in Oklahoma City as the '40s were winding down, she described her big family as "hanging on at the edges by our fingernails." Her father, a salesman, found himself sinking into a hole of medical debt. A star debater, she won herself scholarships. Though her schooling advanced in fits and starts due to marriage- and pregnancy-related interruptions, she ultimately got a law degree from Rutgers. 

Now, her net worth (shared with her husband, Harvard law professor Bruce Mann) is more than $12 million. She's earned it through real estate holdings, consulting dough, book royalties, a Senate salary, and various retirement accounts. But it's upwardly mobile, industrious people like her who threaten to go extinct if she gets her way.

***

In the past, Democratic Party was synonymous with working-class voters. But in recent years, poor and working-class voters have been increasingly abandoning the party, while highly educated "working rich" types have co-opted it, sometimes even shifting platform and focus toward their pet issues—racial justice initiatives like "defunding" the police, which gained airtime in 2020 but did not poll well or perform well electorally, especially with the poor minority voters who activists' messaging was ostensibly meant to target.

The data back this up. "College-educated white people, in relative terms, swung toward Democrats by a lot, and non-college-educated white people swung, in relative terms, against us," analyst David Shor told Politico in the aftermath of the 2020 election, when Democrats won the White House and held onto the House (losing several seats in the process).* "​​The joke," Shor said, "is that the GOP is really assembling the multiracial working-class coalition that the left has always dreamed of."

"One of the Democratic Party's core problems is that it still regards itself mainly as the party of the underdog," wrote New York Times columnist David Brooks in 2021. But this self-image isn't really accurate. 

"Democrats dominate society's culture generators: the elite universities, the elite media, the entertainment industry, the big tech companies, the thriving elite places like Manhattan, San Francisco and Los Angeles," he argues. "In 2020, Joe Biden won roughly one-sixth of the nation's counties, but together those counties generate roughly 71 percent of the nation's G.D.P."

The white, college-educated voters described by Shor and Brooks who live in big cities and dominate cultural institutions could also be referred to as the working rich. Democrats doing anything to threaten this group's bottom line would be a huge problem for winning elections.

SALT deductions are a great example of how this plays out in practice. It's homeowners with six-figure salaries who incur high property and state income taxes and often want higher allowable SALT deductions. Since this allows some people to deduct state and local taxes from their federal tax bills, it's a huge win for the wealthy people living in states like New York and California who end up needing to cough up a lot to the government at all levels. During squabbles over Biden's Build Back Better legislation, several congressional Democrats threatened to sink negotiations if the SALT deduction wasn't raised—yes, raised

In other words, when push came to shove, Democrats weren't actually willing to put the cost of their agenda on the working rich. 

But it's the working rich they'd need to levy taxes on to pay for the things they desire. Consider the case study of an estate tax, which is another form of wealth tax that's been toyed with over the past few decades, changing drastically over the last 20 years: Right now, an estate tax applies to estates worth over $11.2 million. This ends up being a very small number of estates: In recent years, the tax has applied to only about 1,900 estates annually, bringing in a little less than $20 billion to the federal government. 

If reduced to estates worth $3.5 million ($7 million per couple), the tax would suddenly apply to many more estates and bring in more like $30 billion annually. In 2001, when the estate tax was $675,000 (and higher for couples), more than 50,000 estates paid the tax, coughing up almost $24 billion ($38.5 billion in today's dollars). A much broader base is needed than just a few thousand families if the federal government wants to generate any significant amount of revenue, something Warren won't readily admit.

***

But it's more than just politically unpopular for Democrats to sic the IRS on their reliable-voter constituents: it also does not make a lot of sense practically, since taxpayers who make $200,000 and above annually pay nearly 60 percent of total federal income taxes, despite accounting for only 4.5 percent of total returns filed annually, per Pew data from 2015. ("By contrast, taxpayers with incomes below $30,000 filed nearly 44% of all returns but paid just 1.4% of all federal income tax," Pew reports. And, "two-thirds of the nearly 66 million returns filed by people in that lowest income tier owed no tax at all.")  

Although it is true that the wealthiest 0.1 percent has tripled its share of American wealth since the late '70s, going from holding about 7 percent of total American wealth then to about 22 percent now, the richest American households—whether just those making over $200,000 annually or the millionaires that comprise the 0.1 percent—already contribute such a significant amount to federal coffers that the idea that they shirk social responsibility, evading taxes and hoarding their wealth, is one that doesn't hold much water. The richest 1 percent contribute about 40 percent of total federal income taxes, but they bear other burdens, too—most obviously, property taxes, but also corporate income taxes, which Josh Barro at his Substack Very Serious describes as part of the indirect tax burden felt by shareholders.

Besides, the working rich are precisely the people we want to keep doing what they're doing; they're stable economic contributors who are unlikely to rely on government welfare. Plus, we need a steady stream of people becoming doctors and lawyers, responding to incentives to do so. The U.S. has a physician shortage problem; the country will be an estimated 139,000 doctors short come 2033. In 2021, total applications to law schools were down by 5 percent, breaking a five-year streak in which the country had a glut of would-be lawyers. For jobs that require years of postgraduate study, and oftentimes accompanying debt, the promise of high salaries later on compels people to take on these sacrifices.

The working rich are those who invest in the stock market, those who keep economic engines running. The top 10 percent of American households, measured by net worth, hold "84 percent of all of Wall Street portfolios' value," according to The New York Times, which used Federal Reserve Board data to calculate this. A collapse in these investing habits would create knock-on effects that would harm the American economy for years to come.

The working rich stimulate the economy in all kinds of good ways. And they haven't just reached that level by being leeches on others.

Bureau of Labor Statistics and Federal Reserve data show that about 21 percent of American households will receive an inheritance or other wealth transfer (like assistance with a home down payment, for example); inheritances aren't typically vast sums, but most commonly fall somewhere sub-$50,000. Only 2 percent of inheritances are greater than $1,000,000, according to Federal Reserve data, though those large inheritances are commonly concentrated among already-high earners. Still, for the top 1 percent, inheritances account for a little under 15 percent of those individuals' total wealth on average and are not commonly received until after peak earning years. Though inheritances certainly add to the wealth that rich people have already accumulated, and though knowledge of an inheritance may be something that affects rich peoples' earlier decision making, inheritances are not exclusively a wealthy person phenomenon or even something that too drastically changes the outcomes of the median rich person. In popular imagination—think Kendall Roy of the hit show Succession—wealthy people merely burn through other peoples' fortunes instead of earning their own. In the real world, this just isn't true.

***

Last year in Congress, Sen. Ron Wyden (D–Ore.) proposed a tax on unrealized capital gains, modeled after one floated by Warren, that would hit "people with $1 billion in assets or those who have reported at least $100 million in income for three consecutive years," per The New York Times. Warren and Wyden found willing co-conspirators in fellow Democrats Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Bernie Sanders (D–Vt.). And Biden described his newly unveiled plans to tax the unrealized capital gains of households worth over $100 million as "a prepayment of tax obligations these households will owe when they later realize their gains." (Never mind that it would be a tax on money that hasn't been made yet, money that might not be made at all.)

Proposals like these represent a fundamental shift in what we consider fair game to tax. They would suddenly allow the federal government to tax wealth as it sits there, as opposed to when things are bought and sold, or when money is earned. The implications of this would be huge, starting—but not ending—with the impracticality of enforcement, which has again and again proven too burdensome for other countries' bureaucrats to effectively manage, leading to embarrassing repeals of wealth taxes almost every time it's been tried. 

Even if Democrats could pull off passing and implementing a broader wealth tax, it's not clear they'd be willing to pay the cost of alienating their rich new base.

*CORRECTION: Democrats won a majority in the Senate.

NEXT: Brickbat: Dog Gone

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  1. Joe Biden knows he's in office to make his billionaire base even richer. In fact the 10 richest Americans gained a combined $324 billion in 2021.

    "Wealth tax"? LOL. Either it won't pass at all, or it will pass in a version inconsequential enough that billionaires are still much better off in a Biden Presidency when you look at the big picture. (For instance his absolute refusal to enforce a national border.)

    #OBLsFirstLaw
    #BillionairesForBiden

    1. Home income solution to enable everyone to work online and receive weekly payments to bank acc. Earn over $500 every day and get payouts every week straight to account bank. (re80) My last month of income was $30,390 and all I do is work up to 4 hours a day on my computer. Easy work and steady income are great with this job. More information. >> https://brilliantfuture01.blogspot.com/

    2. Much less, the new tax would likely be ruled unconstitutional, unless Biden manages to pack the Supreme Court with more hard left justices like Jackson.

  2. This is a joke. Warren, Sanders and the progshits never put a paid-for plan out. Bernie has never been able to do math, but Liz definitely knows how to count her campaign contributions and renumerate favors.

    This is showy bait before the economy really crashes due to insane and ceaseless spending. Another $10bn we don't have for Covid.

    Just print more money, right?

    1. They never come up with details either and we all know where the devil hides. Actual cash is the only thing that has a specific cash value at a given moment. Other assets are extremely hard to determine. What's an art collection, a stock investment, a privately held company or real estate worth? One can estimate it, but who does that and their estimates are always going to be wrong because corporate accountants, CPA firms, and the government will always use different value metrics from that which the market uses. And the market is ALWAYS right, but you never know what the market will pay until you actually sell it, which is how it works now.

      But it plays off this idea that the idle rich are Scrooge McDuck, miserly sitting on piles of cash that otherwise has no value. I've heard otherwise intelligent proggies literally tout this verbatim because MSM constantly paints this image.

      The reality is that the uber-wealthy NEVER sit around on piles of unused cash. While they may or may not be hands-on management, this is not how you become or stay uber-wealthy. As wealthy as Gates and Soros are, the vast majority of their wealth is tied up in investments that produce capital opportunities and employment. It's actively working in the private sector, and removing it to give politicians extra play money has a private-sector cost to it.

      What this boils down to however, is that proggies believe that at some point, they are entitled to take your assets for their own political gain. And that's an idea that has unlimited slippery slope potential.

      1. Home income solution to enable everyone to work online and receive weekly payments to bank acc. Earn over $500 every day and get payouts every week straight to account bank. (qaz10) My last month of income was $30,390 and all I do is work up to 4 hours a day on my computer. Easy work and steady income are great with this job.

        More information. >> http://StartEarning10.Cf

      2. Even if they were sitting around on piles of unused cash, putting all that money to use would be functionally the same as government just printing it.

        they must really want more inflation i guess

    2. If we were serious about saving this country, we would remove these people from power, and execute them after being judged guilty at their treason tribunals. Instead we’re wronging our hands and waiting until it’s too late.

      1. Kinda difficult when every gov't institution is compromised.

  3. I keep telling you the only good communists are dead communists. On what soil it doesn't matter.

    In other news: it's been revealed that the now infamous photo of Russian President Vladimir Putin riding shirtless on horseback is actually an image of him going to meet his boyfriend at the bath house.. . Still trying to determine if the boyfriend is inbred and incestuous like Putins family and the Bidens.

    1. I suspect you dislike the two families even more than I do

    2. This just in: Putin's boyfriend is not inbred, but is a St. Bernard dog. Still unclear whether it has chlamydia like Biden and his family.

  4. People making more then $250k per year would pay more taxes? Oh boo hoo. Rich people have gotten the bulk of tax cuts over the last 60 years and proportionally way more now then they did then. Most of them used public money and subsidies to get rich in the first place. Tax their asses.

    1. LOL

      Yeah, Democrats transformed from a working-class party (1980s and earlier) into the party of Silicon Valley, Wall Street, multimillionaire entertainers, and billionaires — and now they're going to throw it all away by punishing their own base with a massive tax increase. 😉

      1. If you are making over $250k per year you are not really “working class”.

        1. Someone making $250k per year likely worked their asses of to get into college where they worked their asses off to get into a career where they worked their asses off to get into a position to make that kind of dough.

          1. Not to the resident retards and the half of the current democrat base that aren't rich. They have been freeloading for years by working that hard to that crowd.

        2. 250K is pretty close to the average software engineer salary in Silicon Valley now. Where a 50-year-old 3-bedroom house will run you 1.3 million or more. It's definitely not rich here, or in several other high end cities.

          1. The house is surely fifty years old. Although for that price, it is only one bedroom, and it is a condo.

        3. If you live in BFE Arkansas, you're probably right... though I've known a lot of independent livestock ranchers who would laugh your silly ass off, put you side-saddle on a horse and make you cry just trying to do in a day what they do in an hour.

          This is not however nearly as true for experienced and proficient people working in some dangerous or extremely technical positions. Supervisors on oil rigs can make as much as $300K a year.

        4. If you voted for Biden and don’t see this as a horrific mistake, you’re the problem. You belong in a landfill.

        5. Molly, you need to lose the poverty mindset. i worked for years in the roofing trade and made as much as that doing work that would cripple you before lunch and you wouldn't get up the next day for being sore. of course i was working 7 days a week, and did it for years, but that's only because i was tired of being broke. now i am very very comfy and do not do that anymore. if you only hang with low earners seek to change that. find a well paying trade or career and jump in with both feet. the market rewards those who deliver value.

      2. The Ultra-Wealthy are the donor-class of the Dem party, but they also have a large constituency of the ultra-poor and those who have been made dependent on State Assistance in urban centers by the high cost of living which seems to always correlate to "progressive" local policies.

        The Dems would believe themselves to be in a lot of trouble if they alienate a huge part of their donor base; Hollywood wealthy might stick around since they largely make their income in direct payments and have the liquidity to handle the "two cent" tax.

        Silicon valley, on the other hand, is largely people who are mostly illiquid, and for companies that aren't publicly traded would have a very hard time selling off 2% (probably more like 5% since they'd have to pay income/cap gains tax on whatever was sold to pay the wealth tax) of their holdings every year, especially doing so without potentially devaluing/destroying their companies. SV would really be in a quandry if the Dems were to put them into a real existential crisis though, since failure to adhere strictly enough to the DNC/identitarian party line is a brand of thoughcrime that can easily lead to someone being unpersoned within those circles.

    2. Before reacting emotionally, please tell us precisely how much taxation you think is fair. Ignore the splits between federal, state, local, property, sales and all the other taxes. In aggregate, what is your view of the ideal tax structure? How much money do you personally think you should be giving up to the government and how should that change as you earn more money during your life?

      1. I think that approach is exactly how we should set our tax system. What is the fairest burden? What revenues will that raise? How do those revenues get spent.

        And I'll go with Switzerland (federal level) as the best tax structure.
        The burden at the bottom is a VAT tax with two rates - 3% for necessities and 8% for other.
        The burden on the middle is a flat 12% income tax w a 30000(?) exemption.
        The burden on the top is a 75(?) basis points tax on wealth with a 500,000(?) exemption.
        Afalk there are no tax code distortions because the system itself is not just burdening/rewarding one subgroup.
        Cantons and federal combine their tax systems so that people only need to file one return and the bureaucrats divvy it.
        Overall federal spending relative to GDP is at a level we haven't seen here since 1929.
        And the purpose of the wealth tax is not to raise revenue but to distort behavior. Specifically to force the BezosBuffett class to pay dividends so they too have to compete for capital and reward ALL shareholders

        1. And the purpose of the wealth tax is not to raise revenue but to distort behavior. Specifically to force the BezosBuffett class to pay dividends so they too have to compete for capital and reward ALL shareholders

          Please explain how taxing wealth results in paying dividends. I'm missing the connection.

          Shareholders like what Bezos has done. Over the past ~20 years, Bezos has been better at reinvesting the profits at amazon and getting a high ROI. Returning the money as dividends has been against the Amazon shareholder interest. Going forward things may change.

          For Buffett, it might be time for Berkshire to start paying dividends. Historically, Buffet (like Bezos) has been better at investing it than returning the money as dividends. Going forward, that's harder for Berkshire given it's size.

          1. A wealth tax that is lower than a dividend yield will result in dividends being paid once dividends and retained earnings have the same tax consequences. IOW - if a billionaire controls a few companies and faes a tax bill of 1% of assets, then they will just get their company to pay dividends of 1% or so.

          2. If BezosBuffett are really good capital allocators, then their share owners will happily reinvest their dividends.

    3. The feds spend more than $20,000 per capita each year. Unless your tax bill is at least close to that, shut the fuck up.

      1. The feds spend more than $20,000 per capita each year

        , and that money is totes expended on what the taxpayer desires.

        1. Virtually nobody actually pays their "fair share" if you were to compare per capita spending to an individual's net tax bill.

          I'm outside of the income range to be top 5%, but well inside the top 10%, with no kids or dependents and I don't pay $20k in Federal income tax (not to mention that according to the summary I get from TurboTax, the median tax liability for filers with my income level is about half of what I pay because so many are families with multiple personal deductions and one or more child tax credits offsetting their liability).

          Hardly a surprise that half or more of all Federal spending in the last 15 years has been funded by borrowing instead of tax revenues...

      2. My tax bill is higher then that.

        1. Just a reminder that the statistic above is a per capita rate. So a family of four needs to be paying taxes of over $80,000 per year to be "paying their share". And remember also - that's just the federal component.

          So with those important caveats, is your US tax bill still higher than that?

          1. Dollars to donuts its not even 20k. She's a taker

            1. Actually, my guess is that Molly is not a US resident and is comparing apples and oranges. Specifically, I suspect she is trying to compare US federal taxes (which are only a subset of total tax burden and include only a small component of the total cost of health care) with some other country's taxes which are structured entirely differently.

              I further guess that she's quoting from a family tax bill and not a per capita bill but she hasn't addressed that question yet.

            2. I think you mean donuts to dollars.

        2. I think you're confusing "tax bill" with what you receive in benefits. They are the opposite of each other.

        3. Shut the fuck up anyway. You ugly.

    4. ^ perfect example of the modern prog. Jealous loser who can't do anything but figure out ways to spend other's money.

      57% paid no tax last year.
      Top 20% paid pretty much the entire tax bill.

      Sorry that your free ride isnt even more cushy.

      Fucking loser

    5. Why do you feel entitled to other people's money?

    6. "I hate people who are better off than me. Let's take their money."
      --MollyGodiva

    7. We must punish the successful.

    8. Rich people pay most of the taxes - of course any tax cut benefits them disproportionately.

      1. It's also hard to give "tax cuts" to people who don't actually pay any. And no, sales tax and FICA don't count in terms of federal income tax. On average however, I'll posit that people who pay nothing or little in federal income tax are easy to convince that they are tax-paying citizens.

        1. Say it with me "refundable tax credit". During the pandemic, the IRS was even sending people "prefund" checks so they wouldn't have to wait till after filing to cash in on the increased child credit.

          A lot of people in the percentage of filers who "pay no taxes" (in aggregate) do actually end up owing some money to the Feds (or not getting a refund of all the money they've had witheld for income tax), but the group at the absolute bottom have "negative tax liability" because all of their refundable credits add up to more than they'd hypthetically owe in taxes, so they get more in their tax refund than they'd had witheld from their pay over the course of the previous year. When that negative liability is considered to offset the tax paid by people just above them on the income scale, there's a percentile point among all taxpayers where the net aggregate tax liability sums to zero, and that's the percentage that are said to have "paid no tax"

    9. $250k/year isn’t rich.

      1. In Kansas or Nebraska, it's a pretty affluent income. In San Francisco or NYC, it's below the poverty line for a family of 4 or more.

        There's so much variability in the cost of living within the country that it's hard to say what is or isn't "rich" unless you're at the extremes.

        1. In Kansas, the cost is living in Kansas.

    10. Great; let the assholes who dominate the Democratic Party pay for it.

    11. You'll make a good slave.

    12. The tax code is more progressive than at any time in history dummy.

      1. And much more progressive than every exalted European "social democracy".

    13. People making more then $250k per year would pay more taxes? Oh boo hoo.

      But you're ignoring the slight-of-hand by which we talk about Bezos and Buffett, but when the rubber hits the road, Bezos and Buffett will magically be off the hook, but your doctor gets soaked for the crime of charging for life-saving treatments.

    14. I think we should tax what you make at 100%. On a sliding scale. As your income goes up or down so does the corresponding 100% tax rate.

    15. Perhaps if you studied harder or were just smarter you would know the difference between “then” and “than”. Nobody gave us a penny for our educations, it took 10 years of multiple jobs and we paid back every penny of our high interest loans. We built this. We pay exorbitant taxes, Medicare, Medicaid, overhead, insurances, payroll, SS match for our employees and ourselves. 60% of our revenues after 34 years of 60 hour weeks to pay for you whining losers to shriek more. We create value. You create nothing but need.

    16. When considering tax cut proposals, it is implied that someone actually paid taxes to benefit from the cuts. If you pay none or very little in taxes you will likely benefit none or very little from reducing them. The concept is just not that hard.

    17. Sure Molly. The only way to raise enough money for Lizzie's programs is to raise taxes on every family earning over $50K.
      As for your boohoo, FU.

  5. Why target a few tens of thousands of tax payers? Why not tax John Smith of 1234 XYZ Avenue the whole balance of the national debt plus a few trillion in spending money? Realistically, what's the difference?

    1. To turn a phrase on its head, what they are advocating is a trickle-down tax hike that is meant to delude stupid people. When you raise the taxes on your landlord and those who produce the goods and services that you consume and they raise prices, guess who is really paying the tax. It's just being siphoned through those you are told are predatory. It's just a game of mirrors.

  6. Fauxcahontas is motivated primarily by her hatred of those who produce the wealth her parasitism depends on.

    -jcr

    1. I think she's motivated by her parasitism. Her whole tax the rich schtick seems to be her most effective method of parasiting.

  7. The income tax started off as a wee little tax that only applied to the very wealthy.

    1. And the "Never mind that it would be a tax on money that hasn't been made yet, money that might not be made at all." line is already out there in force, known as the AMT. It is very easy to be bitten by the AMT and have to pay it one year on unrealized gains, and then if that turns out later to be an actual loss to take a decade or more to get that reimbursed.

    2. I believe it was 3% on income above 3,000, when the average salary was about 1,500 in 1915. Which would have been about $90 on that 3,000 income.

  8. Liz, you need to update your terminology. "Enhanced" taxes do not "hurt" rich people. Bigger tax bites provide redemption and virtue points.

    1. Also those that want everyone to have skin in the game and pay *something* are committing GENOCIDE against, and trying to erase non-paying peoples.

      1. This. It's the non-paying peoples who are really suffering, so we need to increase the suffering of the paying peoples until they really suffer, to ensure equality (of suffering). It's only fair.

        1. That's Equity.

  9. Suppose the tax is made law. A rich guy has his wealth tied up in property and art, so has to sell some to pay the tax. Who would buy it? The next owner has to pay wealth tax on it too. Art could be sold to a foreign buyer and moved overseas, but property can't be moved.
    The real value of a lot of stuff will fall.

    1. What about the family farm? It's worth a lot on paper, so a tax must be paid. How? Sell equipment? Sell land?

    2. This is the goal of communism. Everyone gets poorer. The rich are less rich. The middle class and poor do worse as well. The only people that truly benefit are the "more equal animals" that happen to control the piggy bank.

      Hence why big govt liberals want to institute socialism/communism so badly. They plan to be the more equal animals.

    3. Further, the only people who could afford to buy that property and art (and jewels and yachts and bizjets and Ferraris and mansions and ...) are other rich people who similarly need to sell property. No one can afford to buy what everybody wants to sell. It's a buyer's market, and those property values are going to drop like a rock. The government will end up confiscating that wealth and find it has no value. End result: $0 in tax receipts.

      1. Ignoring the reality that none of this is true, let's pretend it is.

        Are you saying that the tax code should be structured to keep asset prices high?

        1. He's saying that a tax on wealth, as opposed to income, would require a wealthy person without the income to pay the taxes on their wealth to sell off some of that wealth to pay the taxes.
          The law of supply and demand will kick in as supply rises while demand plummets. The result? Prices drop. Now the person can't raise funds to pay the taxes so the government confiscates their wealth. The government has no used for the wealth so they try to sell it. But who's going to buy it? Wealthy people? No, fuck that. They know it will just get stolen by the government. The result is very little tax revenue collected and a glut of goods nobody wants to buy.

          1. The wealthy hold those assets for a reason. Most of those assets do in fact generate an income and the wealthy choose to keep it unrealized precisely because that has a tax advantage. That choice does not apply to the non-wealthy who hold that same asset as a non-controlling owner.
            Stop pretending that the tax system is not already distorting behavior in favor of those who don't need annual income from all their assets

            1. What if they don't? There are plenty of people who have a shitload of wealth but not much income.

              Are they supposed to sell their wealth to pay the taxes on it?

              Honestly I believe the goal of this tax is to destroy wealth in the name of envy. Then when there's no more capital and no more factories and no more jobs and we're all poor and dependent upon scraps from the government, we can heave a collective sigh of relief because we're finally all equal.

              1. “Honestly I believe the goal of this tax is to destroy wealth in the name of envy.”
                So true. The Liz Warrens of this country are true blood suckers.

        2. Deductive reasoning is one of the things that sets us apart from other animals. You should try it sometime.

      2. Forget the art and the Ferraris.
        Do that exercise for the Musks and Buffets, and Bezoses. What do they sell? A few percent of their companies per year, but that would tank the value for other stockholders... so the Treasury accepts that ownership share for the US government. Eventually the Feds own controlling interests in major enterprises.
        Ooops, I gave away the entire plan.

    4. A rich guy has his wealth tied up in property and art, so has to sell some to pay the tax. Who would buy it?

      A foreign shell corporation that is owned by a foreign non-profit NGO that is controlled by a CEO who is hand-picked by the rich guy.

      Problem solved.

    5. I know! Just cut that Picasso into a thousand pieces, and give the "$10k" chits to needy families.

      1. They are already doing this. You can buy stock in NFTs of art and other collectible documents. The guy on Pawn Stars bought an original broadside of the Declaration of Independence, flipped it to a broker, who sells shares in it online.

  10. Why does Warren have only one expression -- doing that thing with her mouth?

  11. Everything Elizabeth Warren touches withers and dies.

    1. Just look at her husband.

    2. She should touch herself.

  12. "a prepayment of tax obligations"

    How little remarked upon it is, that this is borrowing taxes from the future. We will need these taxes when the day arrives, more than we do now. Debt, debt and more debt.

    Politicians who vote for these policies have no real stake in the outcome. We do.

    Neither major party is seriously addressing the debt problem. Libertarians need to focus on third party access to elections. Current laws currently discriminate against third parties in favor of the big two. Third parties should not require more signatures to qualify than the two parties. Previous vote percentages should not be a factor. Level the playing field.

    1. How little remarked upon it is, that this is borrowing taxes from the future.

      You really think the feds would keep their promise of deducting wealth taxes from capital gains taxes? Yeah right. They'll double tax the wealth.

  13. I summed up the Fortune 400 or some such list a few years ago. The total wouldn't pay a single year's deficit, let alone make much difference to the national debt. And that's assuming you could actually confiscate their entire wealth and maintain its value; most of it is stock in the companies they founded or inherited or manage, the only way to convert it into cash is sell it, and the only people who could afford to buy it no longer can, because all their wealth has been confiscated.

    This isn't rocket science, but it sure seems to be outside the scope of applied political science.

    1. don't forget that after they sell all those assets for much less than they expected, they'll also have to deal with the price increases of whatever it is they hoped to spend the money as there would suddenly be more dollars in pursuit of whatever goods/services .gov thinks it needs to buy....and thats also ignoring whatever % gets lost just to graft.

      these people truly are fucking idiots.

  14. analyst David Shor told Politico in the aftermath of the 2020 election, when Democrats won the White House and held onto the House (losing several seats in the process) while Republicans won a majority in the Senate.

    What alternate reality is this?

    1. Republicans won a majority in the Senate.

      Technically it's true: 50 R's, 48 D's, 2 I's.

      1. If that's what she's thinking, it casts everything else she's written into the same quibbly techinically-yes-but-practically-no light.

      2. Well, a plurality anyway.

  15. But to raise the revenue Warren, Sanders, and Biden want, they'd have to tax the "working rich"—doctors, lawyers, and other hardworking high earners.

    If you end up with a net worth of $50M+ working as a "doctor, lawyer", that is the result of regulatory capture and government-created artificial monopolies.

    It's no accident that doctors and lawyers overwhelmingly vote Democrat; let the Democrats screw them over for all I care.

    1. And I commented above, let those urban professionals who now dominate the Democratic Party pay for it.

      1. Hmm, interesting idea. Only those who join or vote for the sitting majority party are subject to any tax law changes the party passes.

        1. Actually, here is a better idea: (1) we split up government into many different, individually administered branches (healthcare, retirement, housing, etc.), (2) you sign up with a party, you get the benefits, and you pay the taxes for that party.

          We call such "parties" things like "health insurers", "private retirement plans", "HOAs", etc.

          1. Im sorry but asking people to take any responsibility and *pay* for things they use, is unfair, racist, and the billionaires should be responsible for all the things I want

            1. Correction: the things you have a right to get.

              1. Sir Humphrey: [Subsidies are] not to be given to what the people want: it is for what the people don’t want but ought to have!

            2. Sounds like a Warren Democrat all right.

  16. Warren dreams of imposing limits on what you might have. Start with the so called 1%, but follow it up with the 2%, and eventually you get to everyone.

    1. I would like to limit her oxygen intake. To zero.

    2. it really is that simple. we've seen it with ALL taxes in ALL cases. income, sales, gas taxes, license fees, property taxes...the term we here all know is "camels nose under the tent. if we thought for a minute they might impose and stop maybe we'd acquiesce but that has never happened. death by a thousand cuts is still death. i don't want to die. that way at least

  17. The biggest danger isn't the ever shrinking starting point of the "billionaire tax" (did we say billion? we meant 100 million. what's an order of magnitude between friends? and it starts at 50 million now, BTW.) It has a ways to go to catch people making 250K or less a year, most of whom have a net worth under 2 million.

    The biggest danger is that the uber-rich will have to sell stock and other assets to pay the tax every year, driving down the retirement accounts and homes where 95% of people have all of their wealth.

  18. Warren, Sanders, Biden and Pelosi. Four excellent examples showing critical thinking left education decades ago.

  19. Elizabeth Warren's Wealth Tax Would Hurt More Than Just the 'Tippy Top'

    She knows this. Warren is one of the people on the left (and some on the right), that want to destroy the middle class, and leave us with an aristocracy and a servant class.

    1. Correction: noble elite and proud proletariat.

      1. The Red Woman's burden.

        Not my joke but I'll pass it along:

        Did you hear about the guy who bought a red Jeep Cherokee from Lizzy Warren?

        He did a title search and found out is was a white Suburban.

        1. good one! i'm gonna use it.

  20. So Reason says it's ok to "tax the rich" if properly defined? Nothing about the loss of savings and investment or the waste and corruption in the spending of said taxes?

  21. Why are she even suggesting raising taxes? Didn’t Modern Monetary Theory teach us that we can fund enormous deficits simply by printing money, without any ill effects on the economy at all - certainly not anything like inflation!

  22. So... We have TOO many USD chasing TOO few products...

    And Democratic Retards solution is?

    Make those producing products LESS motivated to make products and MORE motivated to close shop and suck off the Gov-Tit....

    Good grief Democrats are utterly retarded. Who elected these clowns? We won't even bring up how they are but treasonous traitors who fraud their sworn oath of office... Not only are they criminal they are wildly stupid.

    1. Democrats paraphrased, "Every lazy incompetent self-entitled P.O.S. deserves to break into Walmart in the middle of the night and take 10% of their assets....."

      Why? Because Walmart has too much stuff on their shelves???

      And the lazy theft will continue until there is nothing left to steal...
      Ya... They really are that stupid.

      1. 10% would barely hurt Wal Mart. They could double hourly pay and still be billionaires.

        1. Gosh if that's true why are you sitting here wasting your time.. Go start a resale outlet, pay your employees twice as much and make billions!!! I'm sure no one is complaining about too many jobs that pay too much and no-one is complaining about making billions... For that matter why isn't EVERYONE out creating assets?

  23. C’mon Liz. What Biden proposed is totally unworkable, but it’s not a wealth tax.

    1. Agree. Why it's almost as if a bunch of tax attorneys for the wealthy figured out how to structure a tax that benefits both them and their clients.

      1. Uh, no? Warren wants two cents on every dollar from a selected group that reach a certain amount of net worth. Sounds like a wealthy tax to me, one that ends up hurting everyone but those behind the tax proposal.

  24. We can debate the fine points all we want, but all that really needs to be said is:

    Taxation of any kind, of anyone, is theft.

    Everything we give to the government should be given voluntarily. Let them learn to live within their means.

    1. more so when you do it under threat of violence like incarceration or confiscation. we saw the future when the canadians froze accounts last month. the train is coming at us fast...it will end poorly.

      if you rely on force to achieve your goals you are illegitimate

  25. I wonder as to the following. Will Congress Critters be subjected to the taxation mentioned above?

  26. Hardworking high earners? Tell me you don't know any lawyers or doctors without telling me you don't know any lawyers or doctors.

    No worries though they will be able to pay for it by dinging the little guy with the forced banking reporting for anything over $600.00 measly dollars!

    1. They'll use that extra tax revenue to setup another 'health' regime and monopolize the ?real? doctors career even further. Because that's what Nazi's do... Everyone must lock step together like soldiers being commanded by their almighty King. Only 'certified' doctors can practice healthcare. Only 'certified' lawyers can practice law so just be sure only Kings selected *special* people can be either.

  27. Nothing like manipulating the facts to scare people into thinking they are rich. "an Economic Policy Institute report from 2018 indicates that "a family in the US needs an annual income of $421,926 to be in the top 1% of earners." And to be in the top 5 percent of earners, a family would need an annual income of about $250,000." - Fact - the difference between the number of earners who earn between 250K -425K is a whopping 0.4% very very close to that top 1%.
    Our nation needs to establish a minimum income tax wage; earn more than the minimum, you file a federal income tax return. That minimum tax wage should be based upon what pay we those to represent/work for US in DC - $174K/yr. But I think we should add another $76K for the benefit package we provide our congressional reps. thus $250K would be the minimum wage/person, meaning that 98.6% of the country would no longer be responsible for filing or paying any federal income tax.
    Before people start crying about needing to have skin in the game, I would say that it is absolutely insane to utilize of 2/3rds of our revenue collecting resources to chase a mere 17% of our nation's revenue. I wonder how many tax cheats & how much more revenue we would discover if we stopped wasting those resources chasing families for what amounts to pennies. There's a very simple solution that would be easy to enact given almost everything is already in place. A solution that levels the playing field for our corporate & human citizens alike. Humans pay a sales tax of 1% or more for food & medicine, vital to our existence. Whereas our public corporate citizens don't need food or medicine, we must look at what would be the equivalent "Living tax" for them.
    A 1% purchase & 1% sale tax for stocks, corp bonds, options & commodities is the solution. This activity is already monitored on a daily basis by the SEC, thus it is just a matter of incorporating the IRS collection along side. Anyone who refuses to buy a stock because of a 1% purchase tax is basically a moron. And since the first $250K of income is tax free, it doesn't matter if the stock went up or down, because there would no federal income tax until the person cashed out more than $250K (1% tax $2500).
    It doesn't matter if the market is going up or going down, our nation still gets paid. Most importantly, the nation would have a minimum of 350% more annual revenue than what we currently collect. We could lower the federal income tax rates upon the richest among us and corporations with the goal of eventually eliminating them after our current debt was eliminated - in fact, we can codify that these federal income taxes are earmarked specifically to pay down the debt.
    Think about all those social programs that no one wants to pay for the we so desperately across our country. We could easily expand Medicare for anyone who wants it, expand our welfare programs w/o punishing folks for reading the rules and behaving just as the rich do, improve all aspects of our children's education, clean our environment, and a host of others...all this for 98.6% who did not benefit like the "wealthiest 0.1 percent has tripled its share of American wealth since the late '70s, going from holding about 7 percent of total American wealth then to about 22 percent now, the richest American households"
    To sum this up: 99.9% of the country transferred 14% of THEIR American wealth directly to the 0.1% - Ask yourself, if everyone earning more than $50M/yr increased their wealth by over 200%, how much did the remaining 0.9%, earning $425K+, increase their piece of the pie at the expense of the other 99%? When you hear conservatives crying that 10% of the country pays 85% of our income taxes, remember that being in the top 90% means that earning as little as $75K/yr makes you a 10%er; only 1.7% earn more than congress's $174K, a 0.3% difference between my $250K allowance.
    The lies are obvious, when you're saying the 8.3% earning $75K-$174K are in the same ball park regarding responsibility.

    1. Was this you?
      https://ballotpedia.org/John_Burchardt

      https://www.investopedia.com/personal-finance/how-much-income-puts-you-top-1-5-10/
      0.4%? It seems like you can't get any basic math correctly, John. I suggest going back to a basic economics class.

  28. just the tip...then the rest. we can call her "Strap-On" Liz.

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