MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Wealth Tax’

As Democrats Push a “Wealth Tax,” Here’s Why Other Countries Got Rid Of It | Mises Institute

Posted by M. C. on June 27, 2019

https://mises.org/power-market/democrats-push-wealth-tax-heres-why-other-countries-got-rid-it

Daniel J. Mitchell

…Another guilt-ridden rich guy wrote for the New York Times that he wants the government to have more of his money.

My parents watched me build two Fortune 500 companies and become one of the wealthiest people in the country. …It’s time to start talking seriously about a wealth tax. …Don’t get me wrong: I am not advocating an end to the capitalist system that’s yielded some of the greatest gains in prosperity and innovation in human history. I simply believe it’s time for those of us with great wealth to commit to reducing income inequality, starting with the demand to be taxed at a higher rate than everyone else. …let’s end this tired argument that we must delay fixing structural inequities until our government is running as efficiently as the most profitable companies. …we can’t waste any more time tinkering around the edges. …A wealth tax can start to address the economic inequality eroding the soul of our country’s strength. I can afford to pay more, and I know others can too.

When reading this kind of nonsense, my initial instinct is to tell this kind of person to go ahead and write a big check to the IRS (or, better yet, send the money to me as a personal form of redistribution to the less fortunate). After all, if he really thinks he shouldn’t have so much wealth, he should put his money where his mouth is.

But rich leftists like Elizabeth Warren don’t do this, and I’m guessing the author of the NYT column won’t, either. At least if the actions of other rich leftists are any guide.

But I don’t want to focus on hypocrisy.

Today’s column is about the destructive economics of wealth taxation.

report from the Mercatus Center makes a very important point about how a wealth tax is really a tax on the creation of new wealth.

Wealth taxes have been historically plagued by “ultra-millionaire” mobility. …The Ultra-Millionaire Tax, therefore, contains “strong anti-evasion measures” like a 40 percent exit tax on any targeted household that attempts to emigrate, minimum audit rates, and increased funding for IRS enforcement. …Sen. Warren’s wealth tax would target the…households that met the threshold—around 75,000—would be required to value all of their assets, which would then be subject to a two or three percent tax every year. Sen. Warren’s team estimates that all of this would bring $2.75 trillion to the federal treasury over ten years… a wealth tax would almost certainly be anti-growth. …A wealth tax might not cause economic indicators to tumble immediately, but the American economy would eventually become less dynamic and competitive… If a household’s wealth grows at a normal rate—say, five percent—then the three percent annual tax on wealth would amount to a 60 percent tax on net wealth added.

Alan Viard of the American Enterprise Institute makes the same point in a columnfor the Hill.

Wealth taxes operate differently from income taxes because the same stock of money is taxed repeatedly year after year. …Under a 2 percent wealth tax, an investor pays taxes each year equal to 2 percent of his or her net worth, but in the end pays taxes each decade equal to a full 20 percent of his or her net worth. …Consider a taxpayer who holds a long term bond with a fixed interest rate of 3 percent each year. Because a 2 percent wealth tax captures 67 percent of the interest income of the bondholder makes each year, it is essentially identical to a 67 percent income tax. The proposed tax raises the same revenue and has the same economic effects, whether it is called a 2 percent wealth tax or a 67 percent income tax. …The 3 percent wealth tax that Warren has proposed for billionaires is still higher, equivalent to a 100 percent income tax rate in this example. The total tax burden is even greater because the wealth tax would be imposed on top of the 37 percent income tax rate. …Although the wealth tax would be less burdensome in years with high returns, it would be more burdensome in years with low or negative returns. …high rates make the tax a drain on the pool of American savings. That effect is troubling because savings finance the business investment that in turn drives future growth of the economy and living standards of workers.

Alan is absolutely correct (I made the same point back in 2012).

Taxing wealth is the same as taxing saving and investment (actually, it’s the same as triple- or quadruple-taxing saving and investment). And that’s bad for competitiveness, growth, and wages.

And the implicit marginal tax rate on saving and investment can be extremely punitive. Between 67 percent and 100 percent in Alan’s examples. And that’s in addition to regular income tax rates.

You don’t have to be a wild-eyed supply-side economist to recognize that this is crazy.

Which is one of the reasons why other nations have been repealing this class-warfare levy.

Here’s a chart from the Tax Foundation showing the number of developed nations with wealth taxes from1965-present.

Jun-25-19-Tax-Foundation-Chart.jpg

 

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Dreams or Nightmares?

Posted by M. C. on April 23, 2019

Harris: I’ll ‘Take Executive Action’ if Congress Doesn’t Pass Gun Legislation in First 100 Days

https://www.breitbart.com/clips/2019/04/22/harris-ill-take-executive-action-if-congress-doesnt-pass-gun-legislation-in-first-100-days/

Look for expanded definitions of “assault” and crimes worthy of prohibition.

The ultimate goal is total prohibition. It makes control easier.

Warren: My Wealth Tax Will Pay for Universal Child Care, Universal Pre-K, Free College Tuition

https://www.breitbart.com/clips/2019/04/22/warren-my-wealth-tax-will-pay-for-universal-child-care-universal-pre-k-free-college-tuition/

Is ‘free’ the inevitable set of rules and regs that will make the tax code look like a short story?

Look for expanded definitions of “wealth”. Taxes are trickle down. They are costs of business that get paid by consumers.

Why go for the next big breakthrough if the government “redistributes” profits and retards investments (i.e. jobs).

When everything is free, no one has to work and government takes what little you make don’t be surprised when there is no doctor or mechanic to attend to your needs.

In the Soviet Union when you waited in line for for six hours to get shoes , you at least received one left shoe. Right shoes next month, maybe.

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Free lunch.

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How to Turn America into a Shit-hole Country in 4 Easy Steps | The Daily Bell

Posted by M. C. on April 19, 2019

https://www.thedailybell.com/all-articles/news-analysis/how-to-turn-america-into-a-shit-hole-country-in-4-easy-steps/

By Joe Jarvis

Opening up the floodgates of immigration to people from shit-hole countries would not actually be a problem if America was a free country.

If people were free to keep what they earn instead of having it redistributed, free to defend themselves and their loved ones wherever they went, free to become entrepreneurs without impossible protectionist regulations, America would absorb and assimilate any number of immigrants and refugees.

That’s what happened when Ireland, Italy, and Scotland were shit-hole countries where my ancestors emigrated from. The Irish were poor as dirt, fleeing a famine. The Italians brought the murderous Mafia.

And according to Thomas Sowell in his book Black Rednecks, White Liberals, the Scottish immigrants started the southern redneck culture, ready to fight and kill at the tiniest insult to defend their “honor.”

But a lot has changed since then. You can’t leave your home without breaking a law, so American policing agencies would have to spend a lot of time, energy, and tax dollars beating the ‘Merica into new immigrants.

But why blame the immigrants instead of the system?

1. Tax the citizens’ wealth away (or just steal it outright)

Elizabeth Warren has proposed a wealth tax as part of her campaign platform for President 2020.

This would tax the entire net worth of individuals worth over $50 million, every single year.

This eventually guarantees that no one worth over $50 million lives in the United States. At which point the tax will creep down to the middle class as it always does (especially if inflation makes millionaires of all of us)… Read the rest of this entry »

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Is Income Inequality Fair? – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on March 13, 2019

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/03/walter-e-williams/is-income-inequality-fair/

By

Some Americans have much higher income and wealth than others. Former President Barack Obama explained, “I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money.” An adviser to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who has a Twitter account called “Every Billionaire Is A Policy Failure” tweeted, “My goal for this year is to get a moderator to ask ‘Is it morally appropriate for anyone to be a billionaire?’” Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren, in calling for a wealth tax, complained, “The rich and powerful are taking so much for themselves and leaving so little for everyone else.”

These people would have an argument if there were piles of money on the ground called income, with billionaires and millionaires surreptitiously getting to those piles first and taking their unfair shares. In that case, corrective public policy would require a redistribution of the income, wherein the ill-gotten gains of the few would be taken and returned to their rightful owners. The same could be said if there were a dealer of dollars who — because of his being a racist, sexist, multinationalist and maybe a Republican — didn’t deal the dollars fairly. If he dealt millions to some and mere crumbs to others, decent public policy would demand a re-dealing of the dollars, or what some call income redistribution.

You say, “Williams, that’s lunacy.” You’re right. Read the rest of this entry »

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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

https://mises.org/wire/problem-elizabeth-warrens-wealth-tax

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… Read the rest of this entry »

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Rip-Off the Rich? – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on January 30, 2019

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/01/laurence-m-vance/tax-the-rich/

By 

According to the latest figures released by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS):

  • In 2016, the top 50 percent of all taxpayers paid 97 percent of all individual income taxes, while the bottom 50 percent paid the remaining 3 percent.
  • The top 1 percent paid a greater share of individual income taxes (37.3 percent) than the bottom 90 percent combined (30.5 percent).
  • The top 1 percent of taxpayers paid a 26.9 percent individual income tax rate, which is more than seven times higher than taxpayers in the bottom 50 percent (3.7 percent).

“The rich” are also punished through the phase-out of tax exemptions, deductions, and credits as their income rises.Yet, according to Democratic politicians like Senator Elizabeth Warren, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Senator Bernie Sanders, and former Senator Hillary Clinton, “the rich” are still not paying enough in taxes.

Senator Warren has proposed a “wealth tax” on the richest Americans: Read the rest of this entry »

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EconomicPolicyJournal.com: Elizabeth Warren Goes Tax Crazy

Posted by M. C. on January 30, 2019

This is a remarkably aggressive tax proposal because of the annual nature of the tax and would severely reduce the wealth of those taxed in just a decade. It would destroy over 2.75 trillion dollars in capital investment in just 10 years, according to Warren’s own numbers. And would put those funds into the bureaucratic government machine that wastes money as all central planning money does.

http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2019/01/elizabeth-warren-goes-tax-crazy.html

RW 

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has just proposed an annual “wealth tax” on the richest Americans.

Note well: This is not a tax on income. It is a tax on the wealth rich Americans have. This is big.

The new tax proposal from Warren, who recently announced her bid to challenge President Donald Trump in 2020, would apply to Americans with more than $50 million in assets.

It would be a tax of 2% per year on the wealth of anyone who’s wealth falls between $50 million and $1 billion. For those with wealth over a $1 billion, the tax would be 3%.

This is a remarkably aggressive tax proposal because of the annual nature of the tax and would severely reduce the wealth of those taxed in just a decade. It would destroy over 2.75 trillion dollars in capital investment in just 10 years, according to Warren’s own numbers. And would put those funds into the bureaucratic government machine that wastes money as all central planning money does…

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5 Ways a Wealth Tax Is At Least as Bad as an Income Tax | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on December 2, 2018

https://mises.org/wire/5-ways-wealth-tax-least-bad-income-tax

There has been an increasing push for wealth taxes as of late. Supporters for new and larger wealth taxes contend that as the population ages, there won’t be enough wage earners to fund the public purse. In other words, there will be less wage-based income to tax as time goes on. But there will still be plenty of pensioners to pay for. As The Guardian noted back in March, new revenue sources will be needed “as the number of people over 65 grows by almost a third, while the working age population is expected to only increase by about 2%.”

Thus, The Guardian concludes: “the time has come to make the case for greater wealth taxes, given our emerging economic realities, demographic shifts and growing levels of inequality.”

But taking a further look into the issue, and applying some common sense logic, it becomes clear a wealth tax brings with it a host of problems.  Many of these problems are reminiscent of the problems we already encounter with a wealth tax. But some are new:

One: The Audits

Read the rest of this entry »

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