10 July 2015

"Net worth tax" on billionaires proposed

This is not Bernie Sanders' "socialist" proposal.  This was a recommendation proposed in 1999...

...by Donald Trump:
"...on one issue that would affect billionaires like him personally, Donald Trump could not have been more liberal. According to this CNN article from 1999, Trump proposed erasing the national debt—with a one-time “wealth tax” on the mega-rich.

Trump, a prospective candidate for the Reform Party presidential nomination, is proposing a one-time "net worth tax" on individuals and trusts worth $10 million or more.
And he even used language that would later become slogans for the Occupy movement to sell his proposal.
“By my calculations, 1 percent of Americans, who control 90 percent of the wealth in this country, would be affected by my plan,” Trump said. “The other 99 percent of the people would get deep reductions in their federal income taxes … Personally this plan would cost me hundreds of millions of dollars, but in all honesty, it’s worth it.”
Via Daily Kos.  Here are some more excerpts from the CNN article:
Billionaire businessman Donald Trump has a plan to pay off the national debt, grant a middle class a tax cut, and keep Social Security afloat: tax rich people like himself...

By Trump's calculations, his proposed 14.25 percent levy on such net worth would raise $5.7 trillion and wipe out the debt in one full swoop...

"The plan I am proposing today does not involve smoke and mirrors, phony numbers, financial gimmicks, or the usual economic chicanery you usually find in Disneyland-on-the-Potomac," Trump said...

Trump, whose own net worth is an estimated $5 billion, says the wealthy would not suffer if his economic plan were enacted
Wouldn't it be interesting if he were to raise the same point during this year's Republican presidential debates?


  1. one full swoop

    I see even back in 1999 CNN didn't have very good editors...

  2. I would be very interested to see something like this play out. The mega-rich don't have much of their assets in cash that they can hand over to the government. They are in the form of equities, real estate, etc. Now they can sell these assets to produce cash for the government, but all their mega-rich peers are also trying to sell assets and aren't interested in giving up cash to buy them causing their market value to fall. Does this mean their net worth isn't what we thought it was and they owe less or does it mean that they need to sell more to make up the difference between our previous evaluation of their worth and what their assets are currently fetching on the market?

    Another solution could be to just hand securities or real estate over to the government directly in fulfillment of the tax debt. That makes the government a big investor in many companies and a major land lord. It also runs the risk of the mega-rich handing over assets that they have over valued and the government getting a bad deal.

    There probably is a way to make it work, but I am not an economist.

  3. If he actually did this himself, I could almost forgive the recent remarks. Not that I'd vote for him, but actions speak louder sort of thing.

    1. If he actually did this, it would be the first time his actions spoke louder than his words. Of course, the Republicans would tar and feather him.

  4. That's sooo last century. The W era proved Republicans no longer have to go through that whole tedious pretense of appealing to rational discourse- just blame it all on the Mexicans, and you're home!

  5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oz7_JP7ROvA


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