As of March 2019, America has 607 billionaires out of around 327 million people.
Self-proclaimed socialist millionaire 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is going all in.
Sanders announced today that billionaires should not exist. He developed a tax plan specifically to target the few billionaires who exist in America.
Billionaires Shouldn’t Exist
There should be no billionaires. We are going to tax their extreme wealth and invest in working people. Read the plan: https://t.co/RJDLvX5H4c
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) September 24, 2019
Does he truly think these people made all of this money sitting on their butts all day? That this money magically appeared out of nowhere?
Even if they inherited their wealth so what!? It’s THEIR money.
The plan would also force people to allow the IRS to asses their wealth on an annual basis. As of now, the IRS only does that when they die.
Sanders’ plan would allow some leniency on “assets that are difficult to appraise.” The department would provide an option for “taxpayers to have appraisals done periodically instead of annually.”
Isn’t that nice of him? It gets worse.
Look at the title of this section. Plus a national wealth registry? Sounds Stalinesque, doesn’t it? What a surprise for someone who honeymooned in the good old USSR.
Sanders tries to justify his plan because it’s constitutional under that wretched 16th Amendment. He also insists this is not a radical idea.
You want people to pay their “fair share?” Get rid of the loopholes and exemptions.
America Doesn’t Have Many “Evil Rich” Households
As of March 2019, America has 607 billionaires out of around 327 million people. That’s what, 0.0000019% of the population?
Taxes would go up for those making millions, including Sanders:
It would start with a 1 percent tax on net worth above $32 million for a married couple. That means a married couple with $32.5 million would pay a wealth tax of just $5,000.
The tax rate would increase to 2 percent on net worth from $50 to $250 million, 3 percent from $250 to $500 million, 4 percent from $500 million to $1 billion, 5 percent from $1 to $2.5 billion, 6 percent from $2.5 to $5 billion, 7 percent from $5 to $10 billion, and 8 percent on wealth over $10 billion. These brackets are halved for singles.
Under this plan, the wealth of billionaires would be cut in half over 15 years which would substantially break up the concentration of wealth and power of this small privileged class.
Again, America has only 607 billionaires. America has around 11.8 million households worth $1 million. But that’s only 3% of the total population.
It does not seem like enough to pay for all of the social programs Sanders wants to implement:
In order to reduce the outrageous level of inequality that exists in America today and to rebuild the disappearing middle class, the time has come for the United States to establish an annual tax on the extreme wealth of the top 0.1 percent of U.S. households.
This wealth tax would only apply to net worth of over $32 million and would raise an estimated $4.35 trillion over the next decade. Anyone who has a net worth of less than $32 million would not see their taxes go up at all under this plan.
The revenue raised under this plan would be used to fund Bernie’s affordable housing plan, universal childcare and would help fund Medicare for All.
Oh, but in order for this plan to work, the IRS needs more funds. He buried that little note in the section about why the government can enforce the wealth tax:
Second, it includes an increase in IRS funding for enforcement and requires the IRS to perform an audit of 30 percent of wealth tax returns for those in the 1 percent bracket and a 100 percent audit rate for all billionaires. Third, the wealth tax includes a 40 percent exit tax on the net value of all assets under $1 billion and 60 percent over $1 billion for all wealthy individual seeking to expatriate to avoid the tax. Finally, the wealth tax proposal will include enhancements to the international tax enforcement and anti-money laundering regime including the strengthening of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.
Gee, I wonder why he put that fact in that section. Nice way to try to hide it.
The Hypocrisy and Lack of Self-Awareness
Has anyone noticed Sanders has targeted billionaires instead of millionaires after everyone pointed out he is a millionaire? Okay, it’s not just me.
Sanders released his tax returns and guess who chose not to pay his fair share. Even The New York Times pointed out he belongs to that evil 1%.
Sanders released his tax reductions in the 2016 campaign as well. Jim Geraghty at National Review wrote on the hypocrisy within the documents. Ryan Ellis at Forbes expanded on the tax forms.
In 2014, Sanders received $26,213 in Social Security. The law states 85% of that amount is taxable. He paid that amount. But Ellis wrote that Sanders “has quite a strong position on Social Security.” He wants those in the top brackets to “pay their ‘fair share’ into Social Security.”
While Sanders followed the law, why did he not practice what he preaches? Why not pay taxes “on all” of his Social Security:
According to the Social Security Administration, these taxes are earmarked for the Social Security and Medicare “trust funds,” so it would be a direct benefit to the programs he loves so much. And it certainly seems more “fair” to tax wealthy retirees with empty nests and paid off mortgages than it does to tax people raising families earlier in life.
There is nothing–absolutely nothing–stopping Sanders from adding in the rest of his Social Security benefit as taxable income. At his marginal tax rate, it would generate another $1733 in taxes if he did, taxes which would pay directly for Social Security and Medicare benefits for seniors poorer than he.
Sanders deducted $8,946 in business meals:
Assuming each meal averaged around $100, that’s about 90 business meals throughout the course of the year. Now, this is probably legitimate and legal. The IRS standard for a business meal can be found in IRS Publication 463. In it, we find that a business meal must be an ordinary and necessary expense in your line of work. In addition, the meal must basically have a direct business purpose that’s substantial and is expected to lead to business activity. It’s not a high standard.
If a legitimate business meal deduction was on a Republican’s tax return, you can bet that Sanders would be railing against it as just another “fat cat” ripping off the U.S. Treasury. So why is he deducting almost $9000 worth of business meals himself?
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