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Eighteen Billionaires Call for a Wealth Tax

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Jun 24, 2019
Manor house-GettyImages-139663465

Eighteen billionaires have published an open letter calling for a "moderate" wealth tax on their own fortunes and those of their peers, according to the New York Times. The open letter, addressed to all 2020 presidential candidates, noted that several candidates are already considering such an idea, but it cited the plan from Elizabeth Warren specifically. Her plan calls for taxing only 75,000 of the wealthiest families in the country. If implemented, these families would be taxed two cents on the dollar on assets after a $50 million exemption, and an additional tax of 1 cent on the dollar on assets over $1 billion. The letter said this is estimated to generate $3 trillion in revenue over 10 years. This could go toward measures such as clean energy innovation to mitigate climate change, universal child care, student loan debt relief, infrastructure modernization, tax credits for low-income families, public health solutions and other vital needs. The letter also noted that the fact that 75,000 families could provide such revenue in the first place is indicative of the vast economic inequality in modern society. 

"The top 1/10 of 1% of households now have almost as much wealth as all Americans in the bottom 90%. Those of us signing this letter enjoy uncommon fortunes, but each of us wants to live in an America that solves the biggest challenges of our common future," said the letter. 

The letter's authors argued that such a tax could go a long way in addressing the climate crisis, improving economic growth via greater public investment, improving health through well-funded initiatives, promoting economic fairness, blunting the influence of billionaires on society and fulfilling a patriotic duty. 

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