Reforming income, corporate, and capital gains taxes would go a long way toward addressing economic inequality in America, but there’s a whole category of money that goes virtually untaxed: wealth. Most Americans have little to no long-term wealth -- maybe a modest savings account and a home. On the other hand, the wealthiest one percent of Americans own nearly 40% of American wealth, in just about every shape imaginable -- stocks, summer mansions, private jets, and so on. Taxing some of these multimillionaires’ wealth would help finance essential programs and services rather than collect dust in their portfolios.
While prominent Democrats have proposed various ways of taxing the rich, Senator Elizabeth Warren has unveiled a plan to tax wealth itself. Her proposed wealth tax would enact a 2 percent levy on assets in excess of $50 million, and a 3 percent tax on billionaires. This would only touch the richest 75,000 households in America, but bring in an estimated $2.75 trillion over a decade. Beto O’Rourke has also said he’s on board, and more presidential candidates are sure to follow. More importantly, the American people are on board -- 61% of voters, including 50% of Republicans, support a wealth tax.
For decades, corporations and the wealthy have paid a shrinking share of total taxes, leaving working Americans with more of the bill. And when Republican lawmakers give the wealthy breaks like in their new tax plan, they put programs like Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block to balance the books. Taxing excessive wealth would help not only keep those time-tested programs safe, but also help our country make the critical investments needed to face the challenges ahead.
Written by Patriotic Millionaires
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