- “So What? then 1-sentence Key Quote from Brian’s policy brief”
740 American billionaires are worth $5.1 trillion, including $2 trillion accumulated during the COVID pandemic. Elon Musk alone has more wealth than 40% of Americans. For decades our country, regular Americans, have been victimized by the false promise of trickle-down economics – we would all be better off if those at the top had more for themselves. Instead, our national debt has gone up dramatically, good paying jobs went overseas, and our middle class is hollowed out while billionaires pay a lower tax rate than they do.
It’s no secret that regular Americans are priced out of our government because money speaks loudest to lifetime politicians. When these same politicians support a tax code that only benefits wealthy elites, they are not looking out for the majority of Americans who work for a living. I am focused on helping regular South Dakotans so I support a wealth (yacht) tax.
A wealth tax is imposed annually on the net wealth held by a person. In South Dakota every homeowner and farmer/rancher with agricultural land is subject to its equivalent in the form of a property tax. Real estate is an asset whose financial value is regularly calculated by county assessors. South Dakotans pay an average effective tax rate of 1.22% of a property’s value regardless of their income level.
A federal wealth tax of 2% would apply to households worth $50 million to $1 billion. The wealthiest 75,000 households in America would pay $0.02 for every dollar above $50 million. Households worth more than $1 billion would be subject to a 3% wealth tax. 740 Americans would thus pay $0.03 on every dollar over $1 billion. Paying pennies per dollar would not impact the lifestyle of ultra-millionaires or billionaires at all.
If you aren’t sure about asking some of the wealthiest people who ever lived for pocket change to help fund our government, consider some conservative views:
“Billionaires should not be paying a lower rate than you are paying, no matter who they are, no matter who the president is. The main problem with America right now is that a shrinking group of people controls a growing share of our nation’s wealth and power. America is lopsided, and it’s getting more lopsided every year. That makes our country unstable.” — Tucker Carlson (2019)