Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is pushing a wealth tax as one of the early economic priorities of her 2020 Democratic presidential campaign, but the head of the nation’s largest grassroots taxpayer organization says the wealth tax would never have the economic impact that Warren promises.
The tax on accumulated assets would levy a two percent rate on all wealth above $50 million. It would rise to three percent for assets past a billion dollars. Warren promises the tax could bring in $3 trillion in ten years, but National Taxpayer’s Union President Pete Sepp says that’s naive.
“[Warren] assumes that there would be virtually no change , no response to attacks like this. That’s where this nearly three trillion dollar revenue estimate comes from – that year after year, people with accumulations of wealth will just happily pay that tax and not move the money offshore or think of other ways to either spend it rather unproductively rather than invest it or simply give it away to charity,” said Sepp.
Furthermore, Sepp says socking it to the very wealthy is a bad way to approach the economy.
“We have to remember, the income tax is already heavily skewed toward hitting people with high incomes, who generally also tend to have high wealth accumulations. There’s already a capital gains tax. There is still a death tax in place,” said Sepp.
Listen to the full podcast as Sepp explains why there’s plenty of data to suggest a wealth tax will not accomplish what its supporters think it will, and he details what policies would raise the income and living standards of people at the lower end of the economic spectrum.