Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) recently proposed a wealth tax on the very rich as a way to curb wealth inequality. It’s a simple 2 percent tax on fortunes over $50 million, and a 3 percent tax on fortunes over $1 billion. Early polls suggest her proposal is very popular.
A wealth tax is different from most other taxes we pay. Usually, the government only taxes us when money changes hands — when we earn or spend money. But a wealth tax targets the huge fortunes that sit in wealthy people’s possession, whether it’s in the form of stocks or a yacht.
UC Berkeley economist Emmanuel Saez, who is advising Warren, estimates that the tax will hit 75,000 households and raise $2.75 trillion over a 10-year period.