(NewsReady.com) – Talk of implementing a wealth tax in one form or another has become a more integral part of the public discourse due to the presidential campaigns of Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). For better or worse, they’ve popularized the idea of taxing the rich in order to pay for existing or, typically, new government programs. Analyzing billionaire Democratic candidate Tom Steyer’s situation can help put into perspective what this wealth tax would look like.
A left-leaning organization, American for Tax Fairness, introduced an iteration of a wealth tax called the “Millionaires Surtax.” It came up with estimates of how much tax revenue could be generated by targeting ultra-wealthy Americans.
Steyer would have owed an additional $18 million in taxes in 2018 under this program. Coincidentally, over the course of 2009-2018, he would have paid $136 million in additional taxes over that 10-year period, and he had already paid $305 million in taxes during that same time frame.
The organization’s Executive Director, Frank Clemente, justified this wealth tax by saying:
“The robust effect the Millionaires Surtax would have on the tax liability of one of the nation’s richest men is a good illustration of how effective this simple reform would be in ensuring the super-wealthy pay something closer to their fair share.”
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