Wealth Tax Pioneers
(a partial list of those with good
and bad suggestions for using of a wealth tax in the United States)
Edward N. Wolff, a
professor of Economics at NYU, wrote
Time for a Wealth Tax?
in the Boston Review which recommended a net wealth tax
of 0.05% (for $100,000 in assets) to 0.3% (for assets over
$1,000,000). Wolf was
interviewed in May of 2003 and had significantly increased his suggested
tax rate to 0.2% (for $100,000 in
assets) to 0.8% (for assets over $5,000,000). He also indicated that
he had use the Swiss wealth tax as a model.
Bruce A. Ackerman and Anne
Alstott, Law Professors at Yale University, wrote
Stakeholder Society proposing a national wealth tax of 2% (above
$80,000). The proceeds of the tax would not go into general revenue and
might be redistributed to qualifying young people (at the rate of $80,000
each) or used for other progressive purposes.
Donald Trump wrote a book titled
The America We Deserve which included a proposal to repeal the inheritance
tax and impose a one-time
14.25% wealth tax.
Jon J. Shure,
New Jersey Policy Perspective and former spokesman for Gov. Jim Florio,
suggested an income tax increase on high earners and a 0.25% ''financial
assets tax'' (a/k/a F.A.T. a/k/a wealth tax) on assets above $2,000,000. See
The New York Times, ON POLITICS;
Notion of Tax for Super-Rich Hits With a Thud in Trenton.
Leon Friedman, a professor of Constitutional Law at Hofstra University,
A Better Kind
of Wealth Tax in The American Prospect encouraging a 1% wealth tax on
the top 1%. The article contains some questionable opinions about the
constitutionality of a wealth tax and suggests an odd fix to the
constitutional apportionment issue.
Ralph Nader was
interviewed by Pat Buchanan and said that he would support a very
modest wealth tax of 1%.
Robert B. Reich, a Professor
of Social and Economic Policy at Brandeis University, and Secretary of Labor
under former President Bill Clinton wrote
Success recommending the funding of public education with a 0.1%
national wealth tax rather than local property taxes. [Mr. Reich was also
reported to have favored a wealth tax at least
5 years earlier].
John Halle wrote
A Long Episode of
Free Market Insanity Wealth Tax Now! in Counter Punch urging a wealth
tax on assets above $10,000,000 to pay for the $700 billion government
Douglas Hopkins wrote the book, A
Citizen's 2% Solution, which recommended a 2% wealth tax with
simplified federal income tax rate brackets and has no sales or value added
Pete Gloor began
FairShareTaxes.org which endorses a sliding wealth tax of 0.5 to 2% (for
assets above $800,000) along with a major overhaul of the federal and state
tax and spending programs. [Original date of proposal is uncertain].
Michael Froomkin, Miami Law Professor, wrote
For a Very Modest US Wealth Tax endorsing a 0.3 to 0.5% wealth
tax (over $1,000,000).
Ronald McKinnon, an Economics Professor at Stanford University supported
a 3% Net Wealth Tax (with $3,000,000 deduction) in a Wall Street Journal
article titled, "The
Case for a Wealth Tax". A couple of weeks later in a radio interview, he
said the deduction should be $6,000,000 and noted that his proposed title
for the article did not include the word "conservative".
Jim Bowden started a website titled Citizens for a Capital
Tax at WealthTax.org for popularizing
the idea of
a tax on net worth. "Right now this doesnâ€™t have much traction in the public
Economic Policy Institute (EPI)
released a proposed federal budget which includes numerous tax increases for
the wealthy including a 0.5% net wealth tax over $10 million. See EPI wants
wealth tax over $10.
Altman, an Economics Professor at New York University and former
member of the New York Times editorial board wrote an op-ed titled
To Reduce Inequality, Tax Wealth, Not Income suggesting that a
net wealth tax should replace the U.S. individual income tax. The payroll
taxes would be maintained but the capital gains, estate and gift taxes would
eventually be eliminated with the income tax. After an initial phase in,
the net wealth tax rates would be 0% for wealth under $500,000, 1% for
wealth between $500,000 and $1,000,000 and 2% for wealth over $1,000,000. [See
2013-July-27, Eugene Patrick Devany,
the author of this website modified the 2-4-8 Tax Plan to make the wealth
tax optional. The change gives all individual taxpayers the choice of paying a 2% net wealth tax with
a low 8%
income tax OR no wealth tax with a 26% income tax (and estate, gift and
capital gains taxes). Making the net wealth tax optional is a game changer for
both economic and political analysis. The legal constitutional objection
regarding apportionment of taxes is also eliminated because the wealth tax
is simply one more income tax option. The lifetime tax payments combined
with the inheritance tax would, on
average, be higher for taxpayers who do not elect the wealth tax option.
Thomas Piketty, Economics Professor at MIT and in Paris, is
the author of
Capital in the Twenty-First Century, a new 696 page book previously
released in French and in English on March 10, which may turn
out to be the most important economic book of the decade. While much of the
acclaim has come from combining data over several centuries to examine the
distribution of income and capital (net wealth) most of the criticism has
come from his recommendation for a global progressive tax on capital. The
book is available for download to Kindle and is highly recommended.
See edited book reviews by
Eugene Patrick Devany showing reviewers' reactions to net wealth tax.