Elizabeth Warren on Tax Reform
Massachusetts Senator; former head of CFPB; Dem. Presidential Challenger
The math isn't complicated. Over decades, an unfair tax code will produce a huge wealth gap, and a wealth gap can't be fixed just by cleaning the way income tax is taxed in the future. We urgently need a wealth tax. It would help reduce the impact of several decades of a rigged system and also work as a defense from future rigging.
Warren's original plan included the 2% tax on net worth over $50 million and a 3% tax on net worth over $1 billion. But she later introduced a plan to pay for Medicare for All that included increasing the higher threshold tax to 6%.
However, some economists have questioned whether her plan would raise as much as she expects. If implemented in 2021, the taxes would raise between $2.3 trillion and $2.7 trillion over 10 years. That's about $1 trillion to $1.4 trillion less than the Warren campaign's estimate. The wealth tax would also reduce gross domestic product in 2050 by about 1-2%, depending on how the money is spent.
Sen. Cory BOOKER: We all agree that we need to bring in a lot more revenue in this country. We have a real problem with tax loopholes, tax cheats. I don't agree with the wealth tax, but I agree that we need to raise the estate tax.
The policy on the table: a 2% wealth tax that Warren would levy on the total assets of individuals worth more than $50 million and 3% on individuals with more than $1 billion. Per a Forbes analysis, this means that Jeff Bezos, whose $137 billion fortune makes him the richest man in the world, would owe the IRS an additional $4.1 billion each year.
Critics might complain that [Bloomberg's comparison] is heavy-handed, as the Warren wealth tax pales in comparison to the wealth redistribution of the Chavez-Maduro regime in Venezuela.
Warren's proposal is for a progressive wealth tax: a 2 percent levy on assets more than $50 million, and a 3 percent rate that only kicks in when you have more than $1 billion.
The mere existence of the wealth tax would, on the margin, encourage wealthy individuals to dissipate their fortunes on charitable giving and lavish consumption. Wealth taxes, though once common in developed countries, have gone out of style in recent years. While 12 OECD members had wealth taxes in 1990, just four--France, Norway, Spain, and Switzerland--do today. Warren's proposed rate would be slightly lower than Spain's but higher than the other three.
True, there were a few Debbie Downers raining on the magical parade. Reagan's own vice president, George H. W. Bush, once labeled it "voodoo economics." Others worried that those tax cuts wouldn't make anyone richer except the rich people who pocketed more money.
Eventually, study after careful study showed that Reagan's tax cuts did exactly what a lot of people had expected they would: they reduced government revenues and increased the national debt. But Reagan and all his economic advisers kept selling their wacky idea, and eventually tax cuts became the new religion.
The question is simple: How do we build and America that works for all of us? The answer is right in front of us: We built it once, and we can build it again. This is what big majorities of Americans--Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, and vegetarians--believe.
And how do we pay for all those things? Again, a pretty solid majority of America agrees: start by raising taxes for those at the top. Currently, 61% of us believe that the wealthiest Americans don't pay their fair share in taxes, and 63% favor eliminating tax deductions and loopholes for the very rich.
Washington works great for those at the top. When giant companies wanted more tax loopholes, Washington got it done. When huge energy companies wanted to tear up our environment, Washington got it done. When enormous Wall Street banks wanted new regulatory loopholes, Washington got it done. No gridlock there! But try to do something, anything, for working people, and you'll have a fight on your hands.
And I'd always get straight to the point: "Do you worry about how much you pay in taxes?"
"So how much money do you have stashed away in bank accounts in the Cayman Islands? How much intellectual property have you transferred to a foreign tax haven? How much of your income is shielded with depletion allowances?"
You can guess the response: None. None. None. Then I would talk with these business owners about the ongoing battle over tax policy in America. A lot of it is couched in "big government vs. little government" or "pro-business vs. anti-business." But I think most of that is a deliberate distraction so people don't see the real battle. The critical question is: Who pays? Does everyone pay, or just the little guys?
Brown responded that Warren supports higher taxes, and also said putting more financial pressure on oil companies could raise prices at the pump. "I am on the taxpayer's side," he said, noting that it's now costing him $70 to fill up his pick-up truck.
Our self-employed and small businesses, and the community banks that fund them, are drowning in complicated regulations. Long, complex rules create loopholes that the big companies can take advantage of, but they leave little guys out in the cold. We need rules that are written with small businesses in mind. We need straightforward rules that any small business can deal with, like the short and streamlined mortgage form the consumer agency is putting into law.
Christian Coalition publishes a number of special voter educational materials including the Christian Coalition Voter Guides, which provide voters with critical information about where candidates stand on important faith and family issues. The Christian Coalition Voters Guide summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: "Increasing federal income tax rates"
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Joe Kennedy III
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AL: Incumbent Richard Shelby(R)
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