[guest post by Dana]
Of course they can just send a check to the US Treasury anytime they want, but hey, given how the federal government consistently pays off its debts and regularly balances the budget through disciplined and restrained spending, why not ask them to mandate the collection of more American dollars, am I right!
In a letter sent to candidates Monday, 18 members of some of the nation’s wealthiest families advocated for a wealth tax on people who amassed great personal fortunes, including themselves.
“We are writing to call on all candidates for president, whether they are Republicans or Democrats, to support a moderate wealth tax on the fortunes of the richest one-tenth of the richest 1% of Americans — on us,” said the letter, which was first published in the New York Times Monday.
It said that millions of middle-class Americans already pay a wealth tax annually on their primary form of wealth: property taxes on their homes. The letter points out that Democratic candidates Elizabeth Warren, Beto O’Rourke and Pete Buttigieg have proposed a wealth tax. But the letter’s writers said, “Some ideas are too important for America to be part of only a few candidates’ platforms.”
The letter said the wealth of the top 1/10th of 1% is nearly equal to the wealth of the lowest 90% of American households. “Those of us signing this letter enjoy uncommon fortunes, but each of us wants to live in an America that solves the biggest challenges of our common future,” it said.
The letter lists six key reasons for the wealth tax, and how it can be used in a positive way: It can help fight climate change; would be an economic winner for all Americans; it will make Americans healthier; it is the fair thing to do; it would strengthen American freedom and democracy, and it would be the patriotic thing to do.
Apparently there are not all Democrats are happy about the plan:
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.
And again, the uber-wealthy don’t seem to understand that they don’t have to be compelled by the strong arm of government to give their money to any institution they choose:
“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.”
Of course, now that Bernie has proposed his massive, self-described “revolutionary” plan to erase the country’s $1.6 trillion outstanding student loan debt, those billionaires are really going to need to pony up:
The Democratic presidential candidate’s legislation — dubbed “The College for All Act” — will release all 45 million Americans from their student debt and be paid for with a new tax on Wall Street transactions.
The proposal goes further than fellow Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren’s plan, which caps student debt forgiveness at $50,000 and offers no relief to borrowers who earn more than $250,000.
The $2.2 trillion plan would be paid for by a new tax on financial transactions, including a 0.5 percent tax on stock transactions and a 0.1 percent tax on bonds. That levy would raise up to $2.4 trillion over the next decade, according to the senator’s office.
Sanders’ plan would make two- and four-year public colleges and universities tuition- and debt-free. Trade schools and apprenticeship programs would be tuition-free, as well.
It’s funny how working to fix the basic problems of overspending and overcharging never enter the equation.
No, these people aren’t exhausting at all.
(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)