Feb 1, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Bloomberg pitches raising $5 trillion by taxing the wealthy

In this image, Bloomberg stands and speaks at a podium while campaign for the 2020 election
Bloomberg in D.C. on Jan. 30. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Michael Bloomberg proposed generating roughly $5 trillion for education, infrastructure and climate change by hiking the tax rates of top earners and corporations in a plan released Saturday.

Why it matters: That $5 trillion goal beats former Vice President Joe Biden's plan to raise $3.2 trillion over a decade by increasing taxes, Sen. Elizabeth Warren's "ultra-millionaire tax" to bring in nearly $4 trillion, and just surpasses Sen. Bernie Sanders' plan to raise roughly $4.35 trillion by taxing the wealthy.

  • Yes, but: Warren has multiple tax plans — one for corporations and trade organizations that spend more than $500,000 per year lobbying the government, and another to tax companies with over $100 million in profits.
  • The candidates' tax plans are also structured differently, with unique income limits and timeframes — Warren's is a 10-year plan and Sanders' is a 15-year plan.

Details: Bloomberg's proposal adds a 5% surtax on incomes above $5 million annually, while Warren takes aim at households with more than $50 million in assets, with a 2% charge.

  • Bloomberg's idea also calls for enforcing the IRS to "collect many hundreds of billions in taxes owed but never paid," but does not elaborate.
  • The corporate tax rate would rise from 21% to 28% under Bloomberg's plan.

Flashback: Fellow billionaire and 2020 Democratic candidate Tom Steyer challenged Bloomberg in November to support a wealth tax or leave the 2020 race.

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