The Billionaires Income Tax
If being a billionaire was just about good investing we wouldn’t be talking about a tax on billionaires.
Just a few days ago, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced a tax plan that he’s been working on for years. It’s deep, it’s complicated and it already has a simple name, “The Billionaires Income Tax”. The tax is estimated to hit about 700 people, which is a bit shy of the number of billionaires in America. And through some fortuitous timing, this is a tax that Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) can totally get behind.
Politico goes into some of the details of the proposed tax here. It doesn’t have a score in Congress yet, but already some Democrats are backing away from it. Wyden estimates the proposed tax would bring in several hundred billion a year, and that it would help to pay for the Build Back Better plan proposed by Joe Biden and fellow Democrats.
I understand the liberal desire to tax wealth, but I believe that by the time you get around to taxing wealth, you’re too late. True, unbridled wealth is acquired through the magic of contracts that are enforced by government intervention in the market. In a civilized society when someone breaches a contract, the other parties to the contract sue for relief — they don’t hire hitmen. We want to keep things civil.
The freedom that we have in the market today comes more or less from the intervention of the government. It is the government that issues the currency we use to trade goods and services. It is the government that sets the standard for the weights and measures we use to measure those goods and services. It is the government that enacts the rules of the market. It is the government that sets up forums for disputes between parties. We delegate that power to the government as a foundation of the social contract we have with each other.
So it should come as no surprise that a large factor in the rise of the billionaire class are the rules that are adopted by the government to determine how income is distributed. This is a point that is perpetually missed by the “tax and spend” Democrats that Republicans love to deride. While Democrats clamor for more taxes and social spending, Republicans will shrug their shoulders and act like they had nothing to do with…