In a letter published on June 24, 2019 on the website Medium.com calls for
"A Moderate Wealth Tax On The Fortunes Of The Richest One-Tenth Of The Richest 1 Percent Of Americans — On Us."George Soros, heiresses to the Pritzker fortune, Abigail Disney and Facebook Inc. co-founder Chris Hughes are among those calling for a wealth tax to help address income inequality and provide funding for climate change and public health initiatives.
“The next dollar of new tax revenue should come from the most financially fortunate, not from middle-income and lower-income Americans.”
Warren, a senator from Massachusetts, as well as fellow Democratic presidential hopefuls Pete Buttigieg and Beto O’Rourke support the idea, according to the letter. Warren has proposed a 2% tax on assets of $50 million or more, and a further 1% on assets over $1 billion. It is estimated to generate nearly $3 trillion in tax revenue over 10 years.
The wealth tax isn’t embraced by all Democrats, though, with some arguing it would be difficult to objectively assess the value of wealth like artwork and jewels or illiquid assets.
There Are Also Concerns That Such A Tax Is Unconstitutional Because The Federal Government Is Prohibited From
Taxing Property, Only Income.
European countries have experienced mixed results with a wealth tax. Of 15 nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development that had them in 1995, only four, Switzerland, Belgium, Norway and Spain, still do.
France, Sweden and Germany are among those that backed away from the levy because of the difficulties implementing them.
Some of those signing the letter have already expressed concerns about rising inequality.
- Hughes has evangelized for higher taxes on the rich in his book “Fair Shot.”
- Disney, whose grandfather and great-uncle founded Walt Disney Co., recently called Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger’s $65.6 million compensation package “insane.”
- Nick Hanauer, first warned his “fellow zillionaires” about the country’s growing wealth divide in 2014, writing that “there is no example in human history where wealth accumulated like this and the pitchforks didn’t eventually come out.”
If we don’t do something like this, what are we doing, just hoarding this wealth in a country that’s falling apart at the seams?” Pritzker Simmons said. “That’s not the America we want to live in.”
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The New York Times