Democrat lawmakers have introduced a tax on the ultra-wealthy they say will help pay for infrastructure, childcare and health reforms, according to news reports.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. — along with Representatives Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., and Brendan Boyle, D-Penn. — unveiled the proposal, dubbed the “Ultra-Millionaire Tax Act,” on Monday, Bloomberg writes.
The bill, which is co-sponsored by Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vt., among others, would put a 2% annual tax on households and trusts with between $50 million and $1 billion and a 3% tax on those with more than $1 billion, according to the news service.
The lawmakers says the tax would bring in at least $3 trillion in tax revenue over the next decade, citing analysis from economists from the University of California-Berkeley, according to Bloomberg.
“The ultra-rich and powerful have rigged the rules in their favor so much that the top 0.1% pay a lower effective tax rate than the bottom 99%, and billionaire wealth is 40% higher than before the Covid crisis began,” Warren says in a statement cited by the news service. “A wealth tax is popular among voters on both sides for good reason: because they understand the system is rigged to benefit the wealthy and large corporations.”
During his campaign, President Joe Biden endorsed raising taxes on top earners but hasn’t endorsed a wealth tax, Bloomberg writes. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that Biden is “committed” to “[a]ddressing the inequities in the tax code” and that he’s “aligned in the goal of making sure the ultra-wealthy and big corporations finally pay their fair share,” according to the news service.
But Warren and her House colleagues’ proposal would be difficult to pass in the U.S. Senate, split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans, as most bills need the support of at least 60 senators in advance, Bloomberg writes. On the other hand, Democrats could introduce the tax as part of an infrastructure package that would need a simple majority to pass, according to the news service.
If it were to go through, the bill would mean that the 100 richest Americans would pay more than $78 billion in 2021, Bloomberg writes. Jeff Bezos would pay an additional $5.4 billion at least, while Elon Musk would pay an additional $5.2 billion, according to an analysis by the news service.
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