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Common Dreams - September 24, 2019

To tackle “outrageous and grotesque and immoral” levels of inequality in the United States, Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday proposed a new wealth tax on the richest Americans that economists say would slash the fortunes of billionaires in half over 15 years and raise an estimated $4.35 trillion in revenue during the first decade.

“I don’t think that billionaires should exist,” Sanders, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, told the New York Times in an interview. “This proposal does not eliminate billionaires, but it eliminates a lot of the wealth that billionaires have, and I think that’s exactly what we should be doing.”

Sanders’s “Tax on Extreme Wealth” plan, detailed on the senator’s campaign website, would create a one percent tax on wealth between $32 and $50 million, with the rate progressively increasing on richer Americans.

“A progressive wealth tax is the most direct policy tool to curb the growing concentration of wealth in the United States,” economists Gabriel Zucman and Emanuel Saez wrote in a letter analyzing Sanders’s proposal. “Senator Sanders’s very progressive wealth tax on the top 0.1 percent wealthiest Americans is a crucial step in this direction.”

Sanders’s website outlines the framework of the tax plan:

  • 1 percent tax on wealth from $32 to $50 million;
  • 2 percent on wealth from $50 to $250 million;
  • 3 percent on wealth from $250 to $500 million;
  • 4 percent on wealth from $500 to $1 billion;
  • 5 percent on wealth from $1 billion to $2.5 billion;
  • 6 percent on wealth from $2.5 billion to $5 billion;
  • 7 percent on wealth from $5 billion to $10 billion;
  • 8 percent on wealth over $10 billion.

“At a time when millions of people are working two or three jobs to feed their families, the three wealthiest people in this country own more wealth than the bottom half of the American people,” Sanders said in a statement. “Enough is enough. We are going to take on the billionaire class, substantially reduce wealth inequality in America, and stop our democracy from turning into a corrupt oligarchy.” ...
Read full report at Common Dreams