Sep 10, 2019

Elizabeth Warren's wealth tax could have slashed billionaires' fortunes

Photo: Nic Antaya for The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The top 15 richest Americans could have seen their net worth decline by more than half — hundreds of billions of dollars — had Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax plan been in place since 1982, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: A new paper by two French economists, Berkeley professors Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, who helped Warren devise the proposed tax, shows how a wealth tax of "just a few percentage points might erode fortunes over time and presumably reduce wealth inequality."

  • Warren's tax plan proposes an annual 2% tax on assets above a taxpayer's first $50 million, and 3% on assets that exceed $1 billion.

Worth noting: The model doesn't take into account steps that the ultra-wealthy might have taken to lessen their exposure to the tax, including increased charitable giving.

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