Paying a wealth tax is just fine for George Soros. He is among more than a dozen billionaires who make up the richest people on the planet and don’t think they’re being taxed enough to cover their fair share.
However, they have conditions. They have designated causes as well as the amounts for such a tax.
The billionaires have signed a nonpartisan letter to 2020 presidential hopefuls calling for them to create a wealth tax. The request, while seeming to be bizarre, is gaining steam. It’s in line with the thoughts of many Americans who believe the rich, or wealthiest 1 percent, should pay more in taxes.
Wealth Tax to Fund Free-to-Almost-Free Causes
The 20-plus Democratic presidential candidates have called for varying amounts of tax increases on the wealthy. The letter, made public Monday, addresses many of the causes.
In addition to student debt relief, the letter mentions efforts like:
- “clean energy innovation to mitigate climate change”
- “universal child care”
- “infrastructure modernization”
- “tax credits for low-income families”
- “public health solutions”
Wealth Tax Math for Billionaires
In the letter, Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s tax proposal was signaled out. It is being championed as providing “millions of families with a better shot at the American dream by taxing only 75,000 of the wealthiest families in the country.”
Warren’s proposal puts in place a wealth tax of two cents on the dollar on assets after a $50 million exemption and an additional tax of one cent on the dollar on assets over $1 billion. Those who have $49.9 million or less won’t have to pay the wealth tax.
The tax could generate $3 trillion in revenue over 10 years.
The letter stated:
“The top 1/10 of 1% are projected to pay 3.2% of their wealth in taxes this year, while the bottom 99% of households are projected to pay 7.2%. This imbalance creates resentment and makes it harder for working-class Americans to achieve social mobility. Taxing extraordinary wealth should be a greater priority than taxing hard work. The most fortunate should contribute more.”
Jealous of the wealthy?
Naturally, people who don’t make billions of dollars don’t see it fair that the wealthy aren’t paying taxes to the hilt. The letter notes these billionaires want to address this disparity by closing “large gap in effective tax rates between very rich families and everyone else.”
Others have doubts about this:
Some of the signers’ names on the wealth tax letter are recognizable, such as Abigail Disney. Others include:
- Ian Simmons and Liesel Pritzker Simmons, co-founders of Blue Haven Initiative hedge fund
- Alexander Soros, managing partner of Soros Brothers Investments
- Robert and Louise Bowditch, founder of real estate development firm MB Associates
- Chris Hughes, Facebook co-founder
- Sean Eldridge, former U.S. Congressional candidate
- Agnes Gund and Catherine Gund, founder and director of Aubin Pictures
Ian Simmons told The New York Times:
“We thought it would be a good idea. Liesel and I decided to reach out to some other folks to see if they thought it was a good idea, too.”
Hughes told the news outlet:
“One thing that we collectively want to see is further research and more activism on policy design.”
This is a big week for Democratic hopefuls. Many will be participating in their first debates. While Bernie Sanders held a rally about his student loan debt riddance plan today, candidates had not extensively addressed this letter today.