TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Friday, January 25, 2019

Elizabeth Warren Proposes Annual Federal Wealth Tax On Net Worth > $50 Million

Update:  Wall Street Journal, Elizabeth Warren’s Unconstitutional Wealth Tax

https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2019/01/elizabeth-warren-proposes-annual-federal-wealth-tax-on-net-worth-50-million-1.html

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Comments

Political posturing at its worst. Such a tax is undoubtedly unconstitutional, since it is an unapportioned direct tax.

Posted by: guy helvering | Jan 25, 2019 11:25:38 AM

Professor Warren is desperately trying to distract attention from her bizarre claim to Native American status. A symbolic tax proposal is her latest effort.

Posted by: Mike Livingston | Jan 26, 2019 3:31:20 AM

"Undoubtedly unconstitutional"? So Mr. Helvering and the WSJ believe, and they're entitled. Here are a couple of suggestions that pass the constitutional test: Equal taxes on capital gains and ordinary income, and a hefty increase in the top marginal rate.

It doesn't have to reach AOC's 70%, but there's lots of room between the current top of 37% and that number.

Posted by: Gerald Scorse | Jan 26, 2019 4:55:20 AM

Mr. Scorse, what good would achieving this progressive fantasy of 70% achieve? If you haven't noticed the majority of federal funding now comes from issuing Treasury debt. Debt has gone from roughly 8 trillion in 2008 to 21 trillion currently. According to some, we'll soon be knocking on the door of 30 trillion. Frankly, I think we should do away with the tax code. Who needs it?

Posted by: Dale Spradling | Jan 26, 2019 3:37:50 PM

Someone should tell Pocahontas we already have a wealth tax.

It's called

inflation.

Posted by: Anon | Jan 26, 2019 7:15:09 PM

Mr. Scorse, increasing marginal rates and the rate on capital; gains would be a tax on income, not wealth. Someone owning $100 million in tax-free bonds would be unaffected by your proposal. Moreover, the belief that a wealth tax is a direct tax is not confined to myself and the WSJ but I suspect is one shared by most tax scholars.

Posted by: guy helvering | Jan 30, 2019 8:30:48 AM