Paul L. Caron
Dean


Saturday, May 25, 2019

NY Times: Pete Buttigieg Proposes 49.9999% Top Tax Rate

PeteNew York Times, Mayor Pete’s 49.9999% Tax Bracket:

“Being left of Obama doesn’t make you extremely progressive,” Pete Buttigieg told me last week, when we met in Chicago to record a conversation for the new episode of “The Argument” podcast.

My question to Buttigieg — the mayor of South Bend, Ind., and a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate — had been about tax policy. Specifically, I wanted to know whether he supported an annual wealth tax and how high he thought the top marginal income tax rate should be.

He said he did support a wealth tax, arguing that it was not so different from a property tax. On income taxes, he said something I hadn’t heard him, or anyone else, say before: He is intrigued by a top rate of 49.9999 percent. “There’s something about paying the majority of a dollar that comes your way to Uncle Sam that I think people have more trouble with,” he explained. He also said he would favor a financial transaction tax.

All of that adds up to a highly progressive agenda, I responded. President Obama, by comparison, raised the top rate to 39.6 percent and didn’t pass either a wealth tax or a financial transaction tax.

That’s when Buttigieg said that merely being to Obama’s left doesn’t make somebody extremely left-wing.

“Remember that he was the last Democratic president of the Reagan era,” Buttigieg said. Obama was constrained by congressional Republicans and by a misunderstanding among many politicians, in both parties, about how progressive the American public really was on economic policy. “What I’m proposing might be considered conservative by the standards of the 50s, 60s or 70s.” Buttigieg said. “And so where I think we are today is the beginning of a totally new chapter.”

https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2019/05/ny-times-pete-buttigieg-proposes-499999-top-tax-rate.html

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Comments

Buttigieg is desperate for attention He's just helping Trump.

Posted by: Mike Livingston | May 26, 2019 4:33:22 AM

Maybe more important than answers to a top-income-or-estate-tax-rate-question or a what- kind(s)-of-tax question would be to ask what percentage of U.S. GDP should be government spending and transfer payments?

Posted by: Joseph W. Mooney III | May 26, 2019 8:25:42 AM

I hope the Democrats keep running on raising taxes, with the same result that worked for Walter Mondale against Reagan. >> https://youtu.be/07m39CQRJXw?t=85

Posted by: Woody | May 26, 2019 5:43:53 PM

There are households already paying an effective tax rate of 50%, if you include federal income, state income, payroll, property, and sales taxes.

Just sayin'...

Posted by: MM | May 28, 2019 1:41:44 PM

“What I’m proposing might be considered conservative by the standards of the 50s, 60s or 70s.”

In the 50s, 60s, and 70s we wouldn't be stuck listening to you chuffer about your howardauster above and beyond your biographical fictions about your language skills.

Posted by: Art Deco | May 28, 2019 9:16:27 PM

"In the 50s, 60s, and 70s we wouldn't be stuck listening to you chuffer about your howardauster above and beyond your biographical fictions"

It's fun to watch conservatives in the Age of Trump pretend that they care about truth.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | May 29, 2019 3:45:50 PM

In the '50s, '60s, and '70s, you could write off more than you can today and tax shelters were rampant. The elimination of aggressive deductions allowed the reductions in tax rates. Maybe Mayor Pete would like to restore "write-offs for the rich" to offset rate increases.

Posted by: Woody | May 31, 2019 9:58:54 AM