I’m gonna focus on Elizabeth Warren’s
[wealth tax] plan because it is the most clearly and worked out and detailed plan.
Here’s her plan. She would require an annual 2% tax (2%) on all portfolios or
all net worth individuals who have (get ready now) more than $50 million dollars.
So a lot of you listening and watching can relax because Elizabeth Warren is
not after you. If you have $50 million bucks or less none of what I’m about to
describe to you will affect you. You’re not part of the story.
And how are they going to be taxed? 2% of what they have above $50 million. The
first $50 million nobody gets taxed, including these wealthy people. Only what
you have in excess of $50 million will be subject to a 2% tax. And if you
have more than $1 billion you will be subject to (get ready) a 3% tax per year.
Ok, how many families in America are going to be affected by this tax? Answer:
75,000 families. That’s in a population of 325 million people.
I did the arithmetic. Here’s the percentage pf Americans that will be affected. Ready?
0.0002%. Wow. How could you get really excited about this if
99.999% of the people are not affected by this tax? Well, our
conservatives ever ready to defend 0.0002% are on the job. This tax will
raise, over ten years, $2.75 trillion
dollars of revenue, able to solve many of the most egregious problems of American
society. Wow. You could help 325 million people by taxing (ready?) 2% of
the money owned by people who have more than
$50 million, leaving them, of course, with 98% of what they had. They would still be
the richest people in the country. But the conservatives are apoplectic. One of
them on Fox News recently referred to this as a “confiscation tax.” “They’re taxing our
property! That is awful! That’s my property! And you know something it’s
even worse than awful because I already paid an income tax when I earned that
money and now I used it to buy property and they’re gonna tax my property!
Isn’t that awful!?” And to go even one more step they said, “you know, over ten years,
you multiply ten years time 2% a year, that’s 20% of my money!” They really got
excited. So let me respond because their excitement is based on a level of
ignorance which is so enormous that I don’t really believe it. I think they
know better but they think we don’t. So I want to deal with that. Let’s start.
Taxing twice. You’re right. You are taxed when you earn your income, and then if
you buy certain kinds of property you’re taxed again. One is a tax on income and
the other one is a tax on property. But there is nothing new and nothing
exceptional about this. Let me give you an example. If you earn money, you pay an
income tax. Suppose you use that money to buy a home. Guess what, there’s a property
tax on your home in the town where you live. So you’ve paid income tax and then
you pay a tax on your property. That’s not new and that’s not exceptional. What are
you screaming about, Mr. conservative? There’s nothing new here.
If you earn money you pay an income tax, if you then buy a car you pay a property
tax on that car. Once again, income tax and then property tax. Ironically, what
the conservatives don’t want you to know is that there is a kind of property that
doesn’t pay a property tax in the United States. You know what it is? Its
property in the form of stocks and bonds. In every community in America they tax
land, they tax buildings, they tax automobiles. But they do not
tax stocks and bonds. It’s the one kind of property that is exempt through the
history of the United States, most of it. Wow.
The fact is it’s a highly unjust system, this property tax. It taxes cars, homes,
and land. That’s the property average people sometimes have, at least a better
half of them in terms of income. 10% of the people owned 84% of the
shares of stocks and bonds. They’re the ones escaping from a property tax on the
property they’re rich enough to own. And Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are
going after that which should have been done a hundred years ago. There’s nothing
new and nothing comes confiscatory about it. If you’re really worried about
confiscating property you should have been complaining about the tax on homes
and the tax on cars, which you conservatives carefully avoid doing. And now the funny joke about multiplying ten times two. I’ll give it to the
Conservatives, it adds up to 20. You’re right. But what you forgot to remember is
the wealth grows each year. It’s 2% but not of the same amount. It’s 2% of the
wealth as it grows. And 2% is a lot less than they’re gonna make because if you
have this kind of money you hire a hedge fund to manage it for you. By the way, you
know what hedge funds charge rich people like this? 2% a year of the value of
their assets plus 20% of how much it goes up. It’s called the two-and-twenty
rule. So, rich people are used to paying 2% a year to their hedge fund manager
plus 20%. The government is only coming and asking for 2%, not 20% of what it
goes up. So, the joke is it’s a fake. They don’t want to pay the tax. That’s all
that’s going on. Rich people don’t want to pay the tax which should come as hot
news to nobody.