Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

The Problem with Elizabeth Warren’s Wealth Tax | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on February 12, 2019

But the reason for this is not that government isn’t doing enough so far. It is instead that the government is doing too much

A wealth tax is not a new idea, though it certainly has come out of fashion recently – in 1992 twelve OECD countries had one, now there are only four.

One of the central issues of a wealth tax is that it is difficult to actually implement and enforce. As Nicole Kaeding and Kyle Pomerleau from the Tax Foundation write, “the uber wealthy tend to have very hard-to-value assets,” such as ownership in real estate holdings, trusts, and most importantly, businesses.

Calculating the overall value of the wealth of a household would cost an immense amount of time and effort. Jeffrey Levine notes that wealthy households own “one of a kind works of art, ‘priceless’ jewelry, expensive cars … the list goes on and on. And now imagine the need to have all these assets valued each and every single year. It would be a total disaster show.” What effect such a measurement would have on a tax code which already comes in at 2.4 million words can already be presumed. The only ones profiting from such additional complications would be appraisers and lawyers, who will have the privilege to find out what the value of one’s wealth even is approximately…

Of course, Elizabeth Warren not only wants to implement a wealth tax for being on the search for new funding of her costly projects, but also because “the rich” don’t pay their “fair share.” Disregarding the questionable assumption that letting those who are successful pay a much bigger share than the others would be fair, “the rich” already pay much more than the rest of the population anyway. Even Warren is admitting that when shesays that the top 0.1 percent pay 3.2 percent of total taxes, which is more than six times the share as the bottom 50 percent. The top 1 percent, meanwhile, pays a greater share of income taxes than the bottom 90 percent combined.

All of this is not to say that Elizabeth Warren is wrong when she says that “Washington is broken.” She is right when she says, like in a recent Bloomberg interview , that the system is stacked against the Average Joe, that “right now it works if you are a billionaire” or a “giant multinational corporation” or someone who is “wealthy” and “well-connected.” That the system is broken is one of the main reasons why someone like Donald Trump could ever become President (or even have a chance).

But the reason for this is not that government isn’t doing enough so far. It is instead that the government is doing too much,…

Be seeing you





One Response to “The Problem with Elizabeth Warren’s Wealth Tax | Mises Wire”

  1. A wealth tax is a convoluted concept.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: