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A US Tax on Wealth Is Long Overdue

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/ Carefully calculated by economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, the proposal by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), now running for president, sets a rate of 2 percent on fortunes valued between $50 million and $1 billion, and 3 percent above $1 billion, Getty Images

Between 1930 and 1980, the rate applied on the highest incomes was on average 81 percent, and the rate applied to the highest inherited estates was 74 percent. Clearly this did not destroy American capitalism.

Thomas Piketty, the Boston Globe / Common Dreams / Portside


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February 12, 2019 | What if the final blow for French President Emmanuel Macron came not from the yellow vests but from US Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts? Warren, who announced her candidacy for president on Saturday, has proposed what will doubtless be one of the key points of her campaign — the creation of a genuine federal progressive wealth tax.


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Carefully calculated by Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, the Warren proposal sets a rate of 2 percent on fortunes valued between $50 million and $1 billion, and 3 percent above $1 billion. The proposal also provides for an exit tax equal to 40 percent of total wealth for those who relinquish their American citizenship. The tax would apply to all assets, with no exemptions, with dissuasive sanctions for people and governments that do not transmit appropriate information on assets held abroad.

Thomas Piketty is a French economist and the author of the best-selling book, Capital in the 21st Century, which emphasises the themes of his work on wealth concentrations and distribution over the past 250 years.
 
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