How slavery’s lingering stain on the US Constitution spoils Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax proposal – for now

February 16, 2019  —  By

Key Democrats are proposing ways to make the rich pay more taxes.

I believe one of the most promising is Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax. There’s only one snag: It is arguably unconstitutional.

Under her proposal, households worth more than US$50 million – about 75,000 families – would pay a rate of 2 percent a year on assets. Above that the tax would be 3 percent. As opposed to an income tax, this would be levied on things like real estate, cars and stocks.

As a tax scholar interested in economic inequality, I can see the appeal of a wealth tax. The U.S. is growing increasingly unequal, and the best way to reverse that trend is by taxing wealth.

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