The 78-year-old presidential hopeful has rallied against the super-rich for many years; but on Tuesday, after unveiling his plan to tax the wealthy, he tweeted that he wishes to extinguish the billionaire class.
So how does this tax on extreme wealth work? Would the net worth of people like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos plummet under the new scheme? Not exactly.
According to the plan, available to read here, only the wealthiest 180,000 households in America who are in the top 0.1 per cent are eligible to be affected by the tax.
As written on Sanders website, an excerpt from the plan reads:
It would start with a one per cent 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 two per cent on net worth from $50 to $250 million, three per cent from $250 to $500 million, four per cent from $500 million to $1 billion, five per cent from $1 to $2.5 billion, six per cent from $2.5 to $5 billion, seven per cent from $5 to $10 billion, and eight percent on wealth over $10 billion. These brackets are halved for singles.
It’s a lot to take in, so let’s simplify it. Basically, anyone who has a net worth of less than $32 million would not be affected. However, if your net worth is higher than $32 million, the larger the number, the higher the tax.
According to Sanders website, it has the potential to raise an estimated $4.35 trillion, which would then be put into an affordable housing plan, universal childcare Medicare for All – a thorough expansion of Obamacare designed to provide government-led healthcare for everyone.
Not everyone is convinced – and it’s not necessarily due to financially-motivated reasons, either. Andy Lassner, executive producer on The Ellen Show, pointed out the good work some billionaires do with their wealth.
This is a fairly sedate response compared to the replies, with accusations of hypocrisy – assuming Sanders earns a high wage – and communism flying around in multiple tweets.
As 2020 approaches, one has to imagine this proposal from Sanders is pure ammunition for Trump’s legion of followers – as we know, Republicans aren’t overly keen on their freedoms being infringed, whether it be to wealth or weaponry.