When “moderate” Democrat Joe Biden released his $3.2 trillion tax plan during the 2020 primary season, he made a point of rejecting the “tax the rich” scheme being touted by one of his competitors for the nomination, Marxists Elizabeth Warren.
For example, during an appearance at a September 2019 fundraiser with a group of wealthy donors, then-candidate Joe Biden called Elizabeth Warren’s “wealth tax” proposal a form of punishment, not taxation, and he told those in attendance that while they wouldn’t be getting a tax cut from his administration, they wouldn’t be punished either.
But that was then, and this is now. With his recently released $5.8 trillion budget proposal, Joe Biden has decided that punishing the rich with a “wealth tax” isn’t such a bad thing after all, so he is proposing the “Billionaire Minimum Income Tax” — it’s like Elizabeth Warren’s “tax the rich” plan . . . only worse (via Reason.com):
Biden was running as the moderate in the race. His goal was to separate himself from the progressives. So he rejected the idea of a tax policy that he saw as divisive, punitive, and potentially unworkable.
Yet now, as president, Biden has embraced a wealth tax of his own. In his latest budget plan, Biden proposed something the White House has dubbed the “Billionaire Minimum Income Tax,” which applies to all income, realized and unrealized, for households worth more than $100 million.
The Biden administration is framing this as a form of “prepayment” on future capital gains—which is to say it’s a form of taxation on money that someone has not actually seen, based on the value of their holdings. It’s not exactly the same as the wealth taxes proposed by Warren and Sanders, but it’s designed around the same fundamental idea: the taxation of personal wealth, rather than of cash income, which often takes the form of difficult-to-value assets. (emphasis mine)
Yep, Joe Biden is proposing a new tax on “potential” income; Elizabeth Warren is surely pleased.
Interestingly enough, the Joe Biden/Elizabeth Warren connection got its start when they both worked for Barack Obama.
Elizabeth Warren had established a lengthy resume as an anti-free market, anti-capitalist, tax the rich, Marxist when Obama appointed her in 2010 to set up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau following the financial meltdown of 2007-2008. It was Obama’s intention to make Warren the first director of the new agency, but her Marxist/Socialist leanings were so strong that she was unlikely to be confirmed, so Obama went with Richard Cordray instead.
Still, Warren leveraged her work for Obama to win a U.S. Senate seat in 2012 representing Massachusetts, where she could use her new position to play her game of Marxist/socialist chess — Elizabeth Warren is a chess master — in Congress. She later took that experience to launch her campaign for the 2020 Democrat presidential nomination.
Even though her presidential campaign failed, Warren was still dedicated to punishing the rich with a wealth tax, so she introduced the “Ultra-Millionaire Tax Act” shortly after the new Congress began — a bill co-sponsored by Bernie Sanders and supported by a majority of Republicans.
The bill is similar to the wealth tax Joe Biden rejected, but Elizabeth Warren made her intention to see such legislation become law clear when she was made a new member of the Senate Finance Committee, and it now appears to be a Biden priority as well.
“Tax the rich” schemes like those touted by Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren come complete with promises that wealth taxes are necessary to make sure everyone pays their “fair share,” and they will only impact the very wealthy. But Washington’s tax and spend history along with Biden’s likely unconstitutional plan to tax money that doesn’t even exist, means these new taxes probably won’t end with the billionaires (via TheHill.com):
Announcing his new taxation plan to raise an additional $1 trillion, President Biden repeated his oft-stated assurance that “I am a capitalist.” The concern raised by his new plan, however, is not one of capitalism but constitutionalism. While not addressed in the president’s remarks, the Biden White House is planning to introduce a new type of income tax that would fundamentally change the taxation powers in the United States. Taxing the “unrealized gains” of billionaires is likely to be popular, but it may also be unconstitutional.
It is difficult for average Americans to fret over the tax burdens of Jeff Bezos or the roughly 700 other billionaires who would be subject to this change — but this would be a new tax which, if successful against billionaires, is unlikely to stop with them.
There is no question that taxing billionaires always makes for good politics, but it can also make for bad cases when an income tax is not based on actual income.
Income tax focuses on actual income or gains acquired by citizens in any given year. That includes “capital gains” when you sell an asset for more than its original purchase price. It is “realized” when you sell it.
Democrats now are seeking “unrealized gains,” even though an asset has not been sold and could go down in value. It is a more sophisticated version of Warren’s wealth tax, but it is arguably just as unconstitutional.
The targeting of billionaires is a brilliant way to get the public to accept a new type of tax. Once allowed, though, it can then be used on any asset and against any tax bracket to tax “unrealized gains.” If history shows anything, it is that the government tends to operate like a gas in a closed space: Expand the space, and the gas will fill it evenly. (emphasis mine)
It’s become a form of entertainment for Republicans and faux conservatives to belittle and ridicule the Marxist/socialist agenda of the Democrat party even though they bought into it years ago, not to mention the fact that socialism gained in popularity during the COVID scare. And that means, taken as a whole, Joe Biden’s adoption of Elizabeth Warren’s “tax the rich” scheme is more likely than not to become law.
Let the class warfare and lawsuits begin!
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.