Home > Uncategorized > Elizabeth Warren’s Taxes on Ultra-Millionaire’s Wealth is a Good Start… but Not Enough

Elizabeth Warren’s Taxes on Ultra-Millionaire’s Wealth is a Good Start… but Not Enough

January 25, 2019

Common Dreams writer Julia Conley wrote a post yesterday outlining Elizabeth Warren’s proposal to levy higher taxes on “ultra-millionaires”. Here’s her synopsis of the proposal:

Two economists who are advising Warren, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman of University of California at Berkeley, announced to the Washington Post that the senator is proposing an annual tax of two percent for assets over $50 million, as well as a three percent tax for assets above $1 billion. The proposal, the economists estimate, would raise $2.75 trillion over 10 years and would affect just .1 percent of American households—raising the percentage at which their wealth is taxed to just 4.3 percent from 3.2 percent.

The “Ultra-Millionaire Tax” would apply to “all household assets…including residences, closely held businesses, assets held in trust, retirement assets, assets held by minor children, and personal property with a value of $50,000 or more,” according to a paper by the economists.

If I am reading this in Peoria or Dubuque I am not at all unsettled…. though based on some comments by Common Dreams it appears that there was a misunderstanding that the proposed taxes on “…personal property with a value of $50,000 or more” would apply to everyone and not just those who have assets over $50,000,000. Most taxpayers will look at this proposal and see that it has no impact on them and, therefore, be willing to endorse it.

From my perspective, this is a good start… but not nearly enough. Taxing only the ultra-rich is another way of dividing us. I hope that some candidate will advocate SLIGHTLY higher tax rates for the top 20% of wage earners and an even higher tax rate for the top 5%. Governments at all levels are starved of revenues and, consequently, are unable to perform effectively. Moreover, if we want to solve the projected shortfall for social security we should eliminate the maximum taxable limit so that those earning more than $128,400/year contribute… another campaign pledge I hope a candidate will advance. If we want better services from our governments and a secure future for social security more than the top .1% will need to dig a little deeper into their pockets.

Finally, someone running for national office needs to make it clear that the change to the tax code which limits deductions for state and local taxes to $10,000 needs to be overturned. This provision effectively penalizes residents of states and localities that make an effort to provide better government funded services to their citizens. It is THIS provision that in the long run will undercut government services like schools, police, and fire services and make them all private fee-for-service enterprises. I hope that Democrats seeking to replace our current President will make it clear that this provision of the tax code needs to be repealed.

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