The richest 100,000 American families hold about $16 trillion in net assets. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and some of her fellow Democrats want to tax a fraction of that each year. Despite being another tax, several features of the proposal may improve American economic dynamism. ––
–– Warren (D., Mass.) and her colleagues would have these ultrarich households pay the government a 2% yearly carrying fee on any wealth above $50 million, with a 1% surcharge applied to any wealth above $1 billion. The first $50 million of each household’s net worth—about $5 trillion of the $16 trillion total—would be exempt from the fee. The vast majority of American household wealth would also be exempt, because 99.5% of U.S. households have a net worth below $50 million. Compliance would be enforced by auditing each ultrarich family about once every three years.
I’m not qualified to argue the economics merits of this proposal and certainly I don’t have personal stake in such a tax. You can see the argument for the tax at the link above.
However, I do think about the philosophy behind such a tax, I think about where it could lead.
🧐I think about an America where financial success is only to be envied and degraded.
🧐I think about the consequences of long term spending commitments based on such a tax only to have a sharp decline in wealth from time to time.
🧐I think about 0.5% of Americans being treated differently in addition to progressive income taxes and expected to carry the rest of us (relatively speaking)
What does it all mean, where are we headed? Do we want to change the basic structure of America? Just how far are we going making Americans dependent on government paid for by a decreasing segment of the population?