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What Do Billionaires Owe The Rest Of Us?

Forbes reports that there are 607 billionaires in the United States.
Forbes reports that there are 607 billionaires in the United States.

Surely you’ve heard the spiel by now: Democratic presidential candidate and Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren wants a wealth tax.

This is how The New York Times described what she proposed:

Developed by Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, two University of California, Berkeley, economists who are leading scholars of inequality, the proposal is to tax a family’s wealth above $50 million at 2 percent a year, with an additional surcharge of 1 percent on wealth over $1 billion.

Mr. Saez and Mr. Zucman estimate that 75,000 households would owe such a tax, or about one out of 1,700 American families.

A family worth $60 million would owe the federal government $200,000 in wealth tax, over and above what they may owe on income from wages, dividends or interest payments.

The wealth tax is a policy proposal that’s popular with a growing wing of the political left which thinks that, as a popular slogan puts it, “every billionaire is a policy failure.”

How responsible should the uber-wealthy be for the rest of us? And if the answer to that question is “more” — how would that redistribution happen?

Produced by Haili Blassingame


Brian Riedl, Senior fellow and tax budget policy expert, the Manhattan Institute; former chief economist to Senator Rob Portman (R-OH); @Brian_Riedl

Andre Perry, Fellow in the Metropolitan Policy Program, the Brookings Institution; @andreperryedu

For more, visit https://the1a.org.

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