“We may have to levy a wealth tax.” When the Democratic President of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi issued this statement on Sunday, October 24, Gabriel Zuckerman, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley, did not hide his joy. “It’s not finished yet, there will be some rebound, and even if it does, it will not be modest (only about 1,000 taxpayers). But wow, what an incredible change! A fundamental change has taken place compared to a few years ago Sexual changes”, Tweeted that the researcher was taxing billionaires.
Indeed, the idea of wealth tax becomes “Mainstream”, Mr. Zuckerman confided to us, and until now, it is mainly supported by the progressives of the Democratic Party, especially Senators Bernie Sanders (Vermont) and Elizabeth Warren (Massachusetts). Earlier this year, an opinion poll found that 81% of Democrats and 57% of Republicans support a wealth tax.
Since the Covid-19 crisis, the situation has changed. First of all, it boosted the wealth of Silicon Valley giants, thanks to the digital switch and the central bank’s ultra-loose policies, so that Wall Street soared.
Then the website Public Broadcasting Corporation It was revealed in June that the wealthiest Americans, whether it is Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Elon Musk (Tesla) or financier George Soros, sometimes manage not to pay federal income tax. In 2018, the 25 richest people had a total of US$1.1 trillion in inheritance, which is equivalent to the wealth of their 14.3 million “average” compatriots, but they paid 65 times less federal taxes (1.9 billion against 143 billion). He is accused Public Broadcasting Corporation. “The logic behind it is very strong. Billionaires pay very little tax, but Public Broadcasting Corporation Make it more obvious and undisputed”, To sum up Mr. Zuckerman.
The third event is the infrastructure and social spending plans that Joe Biden must fund: Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema from Arizona prevents tax increases for businesses and millionaire families. This is an option favored by Joe Biden, but he The downside is that it does not attack the wealthiest people, and it decided to turn to taxing the small clubs of the 700 wealthiest billionaires in the United States.
$500 billion in five years
In April of this year, Gabriel Zucman and economist Emmanuel Saez proposed the idea of imposing special taxes on the unrealized capital gains of these billionaires. This idea appeared in a proposal put forward by Democrat Ron Wyden (Oregon), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee this week. It plans to tax people with wealth of more than $1 billion or annual income of more than $100 million at a federal tax rate of 23.8% (with a five-year payment period).
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