Billionaires are not a valid revenue source

According to Forbes, America still leads the world, with 735 billionaires worth a collective $4.7 trillion, including Elon Musk, who tops the World’s Billionaires list for the first time.

The US federal budget deficit is about $1.4 trillion and growing by the minute. The US is spending about $6 trillion per year and growing and has failed to address the funding shortfall of the two major social programs- Social Security and Medicare both which require higher levels of spending just to be sustained at current benefit levels.

Politicians constantly propose new programs and new spending and the creation of new long-term obligations.

To pay for this mess we are told a wealth tax on billionaires will do the trick. The successful drivers of change, of job creation of innovation should foot the bill.

A wealth tax on the super wealthy is a farce. Not only will it not fix current funding shortfalls, it surely won’t pay for new grand proposals. Many such proposals stimulate more use and spending and create long term obligations.
Meanwhile, the wealth of billionaires rises and falls with factors beyond our control. To tie more obligations to such a revenue source is foolish – not to mention creating the illusion of affordability.

Let’s start with a wealth tax of 10% or new government revenue this year of $470,000,000,000, that’s billion.

By 2030, Medicare will be spending $157 billion a year more than its revenue.

In CBO’s projections, the gap between Social Security’s outlays and revenues widens over the long term. Total spending on the program in 2022 is equal to 5.0 percent of GDP; by 2096, spending on the program reaches 7.0 percent of GDP. Over the same period, revenues remain around 4.6 percent of GDP. In other words the current annual funding gap is about $128 billion.

H.R. 5376, the Build Back Better Act, would establish a program whereby the federal government would provide paid family and medical leave for eligible workers. That program would cost about $20 billion a year and growing.

BOSTON – Sen. Elizabeth Warren is pushing a plan that she says would cap child care costs at $10 a day for about half of American families. The plan says higher-income families would have to spend no more than 7% of their earnings on child care, and those making under 75% of their state median income would be fully covered.

Last month, the Biden Administration put forward a proposed rule to unilaterally expand the Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) program for student debt. In addition to being highly problematic on policy grounds, this proposal is likely to cost far more than the $138 billionestimated by the Administration. For example, Penn Wharton Budget Model (PWBM) recently estimated the IDR program will likely cost between $333 billion to $361 billion over ten years, before accounting for the policy’s effects on boosting tuition or increasing overall debt. One estimate has found the cost could exceed $1 trillion.

Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

It never ends.


  1. Some of this is true – a wealth tax would be very difficult to implement – but there are definitely tweaks that can be made, like stronger inheritance tax laws, better enforcement of existing tax laws, eliminating US based tax shelters, and returning personal and corporate income tax rates more in line with historic levels. I am non partisan for the sake of fairness, though you mentioned three democratic proposals for increases in spending, it should be noted that the biggest recent deficit increases have come during Republican administrations. It is a bi partisan problem, because most voters don’t want to choose candidates who will cut popular programs.


  2. And don’t leave out Bernie Sanders’ new pitch to increase teachers pay to a minimum of 60k per year nationwide. He says it can be funded by increasing the inheritance tax on the wealthy.


    1. It make me sick how politicians think they can fund some new program by taxing the wealthy. How about raising taxes to pay down the debt before starting something new.


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