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Thu Jun 10, 2021, 10:57 AM

Stop pretending it's impossible to tax wealth



Tweet text:

ryan cooper
@ryanlcooper
"Government choices created billionaire wealth, and different choices could get rid of it at any time." f. @gabriel_zucman @PikettyLeMonde

Stop pretending it's impossible to tax wealth
It's not as complicated as oligarch defenders make it out to be
theweek.com
7:47 AM Jun 10, 2021


https://theweek.com/politics/1001349/stop-pretending-its-impossible-to-tax-wealth

It turns out many of the very richest Americans pay almost nothing in taxes. A staggering report from ProPublica shows that between 2014 and 2018, Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos, Michael Bloomberg, and Elon Musk paid between 0.1 percent and 3.27 percent on the overall increase in value of their fortunes, largely because under current law capital gains are not taxed until they are sold or transferred.

In response, a lot of billionaire apologists have condescendingly explained that this is all no big deal and critics should shut up. This "was the worst thing I've ever read by ProPublica, and a real contender for the worst thing I've read so far in 2021 from a credible outlet," writes Jeremy Arnold in his Saving Journalism newsletter. At Reason, Andrew Moylan and Andrew Wilford accused ProPublica of deceiving the public in the "service of the grand progressive campaign for higher taxes."

Such critics argue that it is impossible or undesirable to tax wealth. In reality, not only is it easily possible and good to do so, the fact that billionaires have so much wealth in the first place is the result of policy decisions that structure the economy. Government choices created billionaire wealth, and different choices could get rid of it at any time.

The first oligarch defense strategy is to assert that taxing wealth would be a big administrative pain in the neck. "Our tax system rightly does not tax growth in one's wealth until it is realized as income," write Moylan and Wilford. "After all, the alternative is a monstrously complex and unfair system of wealth taxation that developed countries have avoided."

*snip*

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Arrow 4 replies Author Time Post
Reply Stop pretending it's impossible to tax wealth (Original post)
Nevilledog Jun 10 OP
dalton99a Jun 10 #1
Layzeebeaver Jun 10 #2
Ocelot II Jun 10 #3
ScratchCat Jun 10 #4

Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Thu Jun 10, 2021, 10:58 AM

1. Career politicians whose wealth is derived from wealthy patrons

will make sure it remains impossible


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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Thu Jun 10, 2021, 11:01 AM

2. As long a wealth is in control of politics

it will continue to be impossible to tax it

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Thu Jun 10, 2021, 11:10 AM

3. Property taxes are wealth taxes.

If you own a home you pay a wealth tax to your county or city.

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Response to Ocelot II (Reply #3)

Thu Jun 10, 2021, 11:15 AM

4. Yep, but make that "any property"

The wealthy already pay a significant wealth tax. The lack of rational thought from some concerning wealth and income is staggering.

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