In America, the current Democratic nomination for the 2020 Presidential Election is well and truly underway.
They’ve been fighting and bickering over who should get the nomination, with some very surprising names beginning to make their way up the list of Democrats who could run against Donald Trump. However, interestingly, there has been a recent talk about a ‘wealth tax’ being put in place by some of the leading Dem runners.
One name who has put this forward is Elizabeth Warren, who wants to place a ‘wealth tax’ on anything over $50m. Peter Morici, an economist, was on Fox News and took Warren to task on the idea of a wealth tax – saying it’s ‘not as big as you think’.
Now, aside from the fact that most of us would dream of having $50,000 in savings, nevermind $50m, that’s quite the hard sell to a public that’s been repeatedly bashed by austerity politics and a damaged economy.
With the tax suggested to be at around 2% for those with over $50m in the bank, it’s intriguing to see what this would actually entail.
Warren claims that the fund would help to bring in a whopping $450bn across a decade. While we can’t really know for sure if such figures would be true, she claimed that it would be used to help fund things like public schooling and ‘basic necessities’ for all Americans.
Morici, though, believes that this is “absurd” – and thinks that big name venture capitalist shouldn’t have to pay such a tax. When host Steve Doocy suggested that $50m was quite the figure, though, Morici claimed that ‘it’s not as big as you think.’
When Doocy suggested this was a rather fanciful claim, Morici replied by saying: "Yea, well, yea, well you wait and work for Fox News for long enough and you're 60 years old and you'll be surprised how much money you have.”
In a world where we seem to do everything possible to make the rich richer and the poor poorer, though, this kind of thought process isn’t so surprising.
With Warren claiming to bring in around $2.75tn from wealth tax across all of her various plans, with a 3% tax against those with over $1bn in the bank, this could be a major shift in the way that America tackles wealth inequality.
However, Morici bit bat at the idea, saying: "These are absurd rates. You have to remember these are the people who finance our startups, these are the people who give us companies like Amazon and Apple. They're the ones with the seed capital,
"[Warren's campaign] acts like these people clip coupons, and they have bonds, and they hang out with the president and that's simply not true. They're very active people who are investing their money."
As you might imagine, the online response to such claims wasn’t exactly positive in favour of the economist. In an era of almost unprecedented inequality, it’s hard to find too many everyday people agreeing with the sentiment that taxing those with $50m is ‘absurd’.
At any rate, it would appear that an even more extreme tax might be coming in. With Bernie Sanders, his suggested wealth tax is a fair bit lower than Warrens own plan – by some $20m. It’ll be interesting to see if either of these two get the backing expected.