Here’s how Bernie Sanders’ wealth tax would aim to raise $4.35 trillion over 10 years

By Audrey Conklin

2020 Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ wealth tax proposal introduced Tuesday aims to raise $4.35 trillion over 10 years.

Sanders’ tax would be applied to accumulated wealth instead of just income, which would cut the average billionaire’s wealth in half in 15 years, The New York Times reported citing two economists who helped create the Vermont senator’s plan.

“Let me be very clear: As president of the United States, I will reduce the outrageous and grotesque and immoral level of income and wealth inequality,” Sanders told The NYT.

“What we are trying to do is demand and implement a policy which significantly reduces income and wealth inequality in America by telling the wealthiest families in this country they cannot have so much wealth,” he continued.

Sanders’ plan would implement an annual 1% tax on net worth over $32 million, and that percentage would increase by marginal rates until it reaches 8% on net worth over $10 billion.

In other words, a 1% tax would be placed on a net worth of over $32 million, a 2% tax would be placed on a net worth of $50-to-$250 million, a 3% tax would be placed on a net worth of $50-to-$250 million and so on until the tax reaches 8% on a net worth of over $10 billion.

About 180,000 U.S. households that make upwards of $32 million, The NYT reported.

Sanders told The NYT he hopes “the day comes” when billionaires don’t exist.

“I don’t think that billionaires should exist,” Sanders told The NYT. “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.”

Fellow Democratic 2020 candidate Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts senator, proposed a similar “ultra-millionaire” wealth tax that would implement an annual 2% tax on a net worth over $50 million and a 3% tax on a net worth over $1 billion. Her proposal aims to o raise $2.6 trillion over 10 years.

The Supreme Court ruled that a wealth tax is unconstitutional in 1985 because it is a direct tax on personal property.

The American Bar Association, however, argues it is constitutional because “under the standards laid down by the Founders … apportionment of a wealth or land tax by population would now require the injustice of substantially higher tax rates in poorer states: when that happens, under the Founders’ standards, the tax is not a direct tax for which apportionment is required.”

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Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons user victorgrigas

11 thoughts on “Here’s how Bernie Sanders’ wealth tax would aim to raise $4.35 trillion over 10 years

  1. Self employed -We had to build our retirement income by ourselves, built just like corporate / gov’t retirements funds are created. We were taxed on the money we put into retirement too!

    We seem rich, and hope those riches hold out if we live long, get sick, need expensive care.

    Gov’t employees with one, and often, two retirement checks for a lifetime – have NO Wealth to tax. Military and post office co-retirements are frequent.They may be living far beyond our means, but no “wealth” to tax!

  2. Be very afraid & be very, very aware….Bernie Sanders has infiltrated the VT Progressive Legislature. A handful of years ago they were fighting to balance school budgets and spending…..and a couple legislators wanted to put in something that would solve ALL problems in Vermont….a ‘Wealth Tax”…..they siad that a tax on the supposed “rich” wealth of 2% or 3% would pay for many things. The wealth tax would be applied to the value of your house, bank accounts and brokerage accounts. The wealth tax would be on top of the income tax, property tax and sales taxes they already paid by you. At that point , Vermont finally culminates into a cult…..40 years in the making now….but it reallly is just pure Communism. BE FOREWARNED….there really is no other way out of the massive financial hole — VT Union’s total $4.5 billion is underfunded, for union retiree’s pension and healthcare…..they will try & float the idea a ‘Wealth Tax” to pay for it. I see it coming, and I pushed up my leaving VT, by five years….simply because if they try to do it (or even propose it), there will literally be no buyers for any house over $700k range. I know of one fantastic house with 75 acres, right now… outside of Montpelier….is VT tax appraised at $1.5 million….they offer to sell it 50% under that TAX APPRAISAL ( I think the owner will lose almost $800,000 on it, by the time it does sell )….because there are NO buyers anywhere…and that is now! If they turn communist… to even a propose a wealth tax in VT…. many high end homes in VT could drop by up to 60% to 70% in value. You will be dead meat if you live & try to sell, outside of Chittenden County. So be aware….do not be the “last one standing” to sell house and get out. Liquidity is critical to get out of VT. If you have a high end house (over $700k) get it sold while you can. I count myself LUCKY. I had a high end house with almost 70 acres, too….I built it custom.. After 32 years owning it, I sold it for just above my cost into it ! I was THRILLED get that!!….Simply because I did not LOSE money on it….I basically broke even after 32 years. Just imagine what I would have in house equity built up, in ANY OTHER STATE… but Vermont…. after 32 years!

  3. “I don’t think that billionaires should exist,” Sanders told The NYT. “This proposal does not eliminate billionaires, but it eliminates[EDIT: steals, confiscates] a lot of the wealth that billionaires have, and I think that’s exactly what we should be doing.”

    Notice that the lower brackets are set just high enough to miss the likes of Warren, Pelosi, and others with wealth accumulated while in office. Oy, the hypocrisy!

  4. A guy builds a better mouse trap and Bernie want everybody to share in a piece of the action? There’s one humugus flaw in his plan – you see that after all these taxes on the wealthy designed to pay for universal health care are spent, there will be nothing left to pay for the forgiveness of student loans, a house for everyone, and the forgiveness of outstanding health care bills. Guess he’ll have trade down and tax us all. Fortunately, the folks are beginning to see this guy for who he truly is. Check the latest polling numbers.

  5. How about those on the lower end of the income scale? 200,000 to 500,000 how much are they going to pay. Covetousness and greed are a sin- Commandment #10.

  6. Seems the brain deficient ol commie burnee forgot that the Euro’s tried that one out and lost all their income to pilfer….It was also millionaires he use to hate until he
    became one selling his commie for dummies books…

  7. I’m curious about this tax in a couple of significant ways. First: Why does Bernie want to drive wealth out of the United States? Wouldn’t our country benefit from attracting foreign capital instead? The second: Most wealth is not held as a basement full of currency. It is represented by ownership of farm acreage, investment in corporations, etc. and its value in cash equivalent is constantly changing. At what point is it evaluated for tax purposes? And what happens, for example, to the farmer when almost his total wealth is in land and equipment? Are these wealthy individuals expected to liquidate an increasing part of their productive properties annually? Is the end result, Bernie’s goal, to have all corporations, all farms owned “by the people” – meaning the government? After all, Stalin did it.

  8. What an idiot. These people made their money by being smart, making countless jobs for working Americans (emphasis on working) and sharing their wealth. You think for one minute that they are going to stand by and let this babbling fool take their money. They’ll all move out, taking their money with them and watching the US go bankrupt.
    When are his followers going to wake up to this pied piper..

  9. So carpetbagger Socialist Sanders believes, that if you have wealth that you have earned
    along with all your accumulated wealth, you should also be taxed to help fund his pipe dream
    so all his ” Free Everything Agenda ” can be paid for ??

    This Idiot thinks the Millionaires & Billionaires are going to let this Buffoon get their wealth
    for his socialist agenda a man that has never held a real job outside politics.

    Socialist Sanders surely loves spending other peoples money they earned !!

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