The tax competition ramps up – and that’s great!


I wrote earlier how pleased I was to see a competition to find ways to raise taxes on the wealthy, that in addition to congresswoman Alexadria Ocasio-Cortez’s plan to raise the marginal income tax on incomes over $10 million to 70%, senator Elizabeth Warren proposed a tax on wealth in which a 2% annual tax would be levied on all household net worth above $50 million, with an additional 1% surtax for above $1 billion in income.

Now senator Bernie Sanders has chimed in with an estate tax proposal called the “For the 99.8% Act” that looks at taxing the third source of entrenched inequality.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on Thursday unveiled his plan for a progressive estate tax, titled the “For the 99.8% Act.”

Sanders’ bill, which was first reported by The Washington Post, would tax the estates of the wealthiest 0.2 percent of Americans who inherit more than $3.5 million.

“99.8 percent of Americans would not see their taxes go up by one penny under this plan,” reads a document outlining the bill from the senator’s office, as obtained by The Daily Beast.

Additionally, the new tax rate structure would levy a 45-percent estate tax on those valued at $3.5-10 million; a 50-percent tax on those valued between $10 and 50 million; a 55-percent liability on estates in excess of $50 billion; and a 77-percent tax on estates in excess of $1 billion. [Note: I think the $50 billion should read $50 million but I cannot change the quote-MS]

Sanders’ office noted that the 77-percent figure was also the top estate-tax rate from 1941 to 1976, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation.

“At a time of massive wealth and income inequality, when the three richest Americans own more wealth than 160 million Americans, it is literally beyond belief that the Republican leadership wants to provide hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to the top 0.2 percent,” Sanders said in a statement to The Daily Beast.

This is great! It is nice to see these three countering the relentless oligarchic messaging that all taxes are bad unless they are regressive ones that the poor and middle class pay.

Let’s see who else will come up with new ways to soak the rich.

Comments

  1. woodsong says

    A typo (just one letter different, but a very significant letter!):

    Additionally, the new tax rate structure would levy a 45-percent estate tax on those valued at $3.5-10 million; a 50-percent tax on those valued between $10 and 50 million; a 55-percent liability on estates in excess of $50 billion; and a 77-percent tax on estates in excess of $1 billion.

    Shouldn’t that ‘b’ be an ‘m’?

  2. Mano Singham says

    woodsong @#1,

    You are probably right but since it is a quote, I cannot change it. However, I have added a note to point it out. Thanks!