A better way to tax the rich

A better way to tax the rich


That includes cars, houses, yachts, jewelry
— and even cold, hard cash. It also includes things we owe other people,
like student loans. So let’s take a quick tour of American household
wealth. We can start over here, where we see people
who owe way more than they have. As we move further right, we can see — oh, that’s me. And there’s my doctor, who owns an expensive
home. And there’s former heavyweight boxer Mike
Tyson! But when we get to the very richest people in the
world — oh hey, it’s Beyoncé — we can zoom out so far that this chart looks like a stick and we still can’t see the top of their wealth. Because these people are so much wealthier
than the rest of us. In other words, this chart doesn’t just show
wealth. It shows the staggering wealth inequality
we have in America. But recently, politicians have been talking
about an idea that’s never been done before in America: In January, Senator Elizabeth Warren proposed
something called a “wealth tax.” This was a big deal. Because this doesn’t typically get taxed. Most of the taxes we pay only happen when
money changes hands — like when we earn money or spend money. But according to Warren, here’s the problem
with that. This bar represents my wealth. And this is my friend’s wealth. I think he owns a yacht. But because both of us have the same job and earn
the same amount of money, our income gets taxed about the same. “Two people who may have the same income, but
are in wildly different economic circumstances.” So to fix it, Warren wants to tax the actual
wealth people have, but only for the very, very rich. Here’s her proposal: All the wealth above
this line — 50 million dollars — would be taxed at 2 percent each year. All the wealth above this line — 1 billion
dollars — would be taxed at 3 percent. So if you have 40 million dollars, you’d pay
nothing. If you have 60 million dollars, you’d pay
nothing on your first 50 million, but 2% on the 10 million after that, or $200 thousand. And if you have 2 billion dollars, you’d pay
about $49 million. So what would happen if we imposed Senator
Warren’s tax? Only the richest 0.05 percent of Americans
would pay this tax. But in 2016, the government could have raised
about 200 billion dollars from it. That could pay for a plan that makes public
college tuition free — three times over. It could pay for all federal food assistance
programs, like food stamps, two times over. It could get close to cutting child poverty
by 60 percent. These are massive programs that would help
millions of people. And what makes that possible is the huge amount
of wealth stuck here, at the very, very top with the ultra rich. A wealth tax hones in on that. We’ve started this paid membership program called Vox Video Lab. When you sign up, you support our journalism but you also get access to some really cool exclusive content, kind of behind the scenes of what we work on. So you can join at vox.com/join. And thank you!

100 thoughts on “A better way to tax the rich

  1. I think you need to first show cold hard cash, because that means that everyone wealth stack would be that tall.
    Also, I dare you to put a copyright strike on my channel, because I disagree with you.

  2. This tax would be extremely effective at breaking the economy. This tax would not stay at 3 or whatever percentage it would begin at. It would increase. This increase in tax would export the very rich assets to foreign economies crippling our economy.
    Also the income inequality in America isn't bad. It's just that the rich get richer faster than the poor. Also the United States government would use the money up in a few months at most.
    Free college, food stamps, and the war on poverty do nothing but decrease the quality of education in the same way the public education system k-12 was, increase the number of people in poverty, and once again ruin the economy.

  3. the government should make a tax system based on your networth. the more you get, the more you will pay. the poor people won't have to worry much on reaching a debt that's is hard to pay and the rich are able to fill in. that's what equality is about.

  4. Warren voted for the bloated military. What could have been wrought if we put money in lifting folks up instead of bombing them for the rich?

  5. The government doesn't spend money well so all the tax dollars would go to useless stuff but if it was made were they could only put it to use where it would be well spent then yes this would work

  6. Right, of course. Only for the VERY VERY rich, not normal people like me. Oh wait, I have to pay US taxes even thought I live and work OUTSIDE the US because they're greedy. Sorry, I don't trust the people proposing this because as soon as they pass it they're coming for poor people to take even the little that they do have.

  7. What if someone ultra rich uses their entire wealth to buy a big boulder of solid or lots of land? Those things are impossible to tax. Just because someone has a high net worth doesn't mean they have a lot of easily taxable cash.

  8. So you're going to tax 119 billions of Bezos, which he doesn't have in liquid cash but in stocks and options? He would have to pay 4 billions of tax a year. No person on earth have that much in cash, and he would have to sell parts of his company every year to pay the taxes. The fact that he HAS to do that would make Amazon price drastically drop down because everyone would know that he has to sell this otherwise he won't have assets to pay his taxes.

  9. You may be a the best rocket scientist, car mechanic, hair dresser on earth, but when your country already has a 73 Trillion dollar deficit and you would consider voting for any Democrat for any position, you could not possible know less about politics and should do your country a favor by staying home every November.

  10. I would support this idea if they abolished the federal income tax and replaced it with a combination of a modest federal sales tax and this wealth tax on the super rich. That way 95% of Americans would never deal with the IRS and we would have a progressive tax system with less loopholes.

  11. Money that people have already paid taxes on should be taxed again. Am I following this correctly? Sounds unconstitutional.

  12. What an IDIOTIC analysis of the real world, Vox. "An astounding amount of American wealth lies with very few ultrarich people. But it isn’t taxed by the federal government. That's because most of the taxes we pay only happen when money changes hands — when we earn it or spend it. " Let me ask you, the money that the "ultrarich" have saved up wasn't "EARNED" and TAXED right after? They didn't receive income, which was taxed by the government? They didn't receive dividends, interest income, and capital gains income, which was taxed? They didn't inherit this money AFTER it was taxed in a similar fashion, while it was in possession of their parents and grandparents? The "Ultrarich" has all of this TAX FREE money which "ISN"T TAXED" as you state? How can you make this idiotic claim?

  13. All this would do is punish the rich just because they spend money responsibly. All this would do is prompt the rich to shift their wealth into other countries and find whatever loophole thay can. And you DO realize that teh government will blow the $200 trillion in less than a monthe because America is so bent on pushing its agenda and taking over the world that it will more likely waste its money on war machines rather than spend it on programs to help the rich.

  14. The rich play a important role in creating job's wer people work and earn, if you start taxing the rich more and more they will have less money to invest and might create job crisis wer younger generations might not get job's and end up owning nothing

  15. These big government socialists types don't seem to understand the very basic fact that the government is corrupt. They are so inflamed against big corporation and the super wealthy that they forget that politicians (that run the government) are people cut from the same cloth………………..Only they are the ones that have the power of force to use against us.

  16. I don’t think in reality this would work. I don’t think rich people are going to value their citizenship so much that they would pay millions and millions to stay in the us so they might flee the country and rich folks are really private ppl so to tell them to report all their assets to the government so they can know how how they really make. Yea I don’t know about that

  17. It seems France is the only country that found the limits of taxation where rich people threatened to leave France (early Francois Hollande policies and prospects of Melenchon vs Le Pen).
    Also, France has wealth tax, ranging from 0.5% to 1.5%.

  18. College should never be free just affordable. Free college will get and bring in the wrong people who won't take it seriously thus wasting more money.

  19. yes if we rob the rich we would benefit greatly or will we … im all free money and so is everyone else but we are avoiding the true problems that caused this inequality and taking a shortcut which is honestly stealing. The whole idea is jealousy and greed you have a lot of money why cant you share most people dont have that amount so we unanimously agree to rob him and split the money but than you realize your own paycheck stems from the rich people you are stealing from and the money you steal you late spend which goes back to the rich we didnt solve anything

  20. Absolutely not, that wealth is in investments stocks, bonds, real estate,, startups etc, that is so much more effective then giving it to bureaucrats.

    Stealing money from one person to give it to a charity of another's choice is no more moral if its legal theft by the government or its its me stealing from you and donating it to charity, the only difference is one is made legal arbitrarily and one is not. But we must remember legal does not equal good or moral..

  21. Seems like I should not save my money or it would be taxed. Is this tax for punishing the rich, those ones who gave us smartphones, jobs and other goods. The money didn't just appeared from nothing. Why goverment should steal people's propety. I'm pretty sure that college tuition will raise in no time when everyone can just go there and goverment pays, so there is nothing preventing prizes to go up when there is no barriers for it.

  22. A wealth tax would end up causing innovation/investment to stagnate, the stock market to crash, and the private sector to crumble. Nearly every European country that enacted one later repealed it because it was so destructive to the economy (and they all had much lower tax rates). If it's enacted it would be hard to imagine there not being a great depression.

  23. For one thing, rich people will not hold their assets in the US anymore. The other thing is CGT already taxes these assets once they are liquidated, it is a bit ridiculous to tax an asset whose value could fluctuate wildly and leave them bankrupt on back taxes. Furthermore there becomes a dangerous moral precedent in that the government will attack the bracket it perceives they can tax from with it being socially acceptable, so when does the cutoff keep getting lower? Furthermore, there is no guarantee the government can effectively spend the money anyway, I mean do you really trust the government to fix college debt? The issue is of their own making anyway, name one government program that says they can solve their problem without more money -_-. What we need is regulatory certainty so businesses can invest in capital goods confidently and grow the economy so people have jobs. Every time there is some harebrained government scheme that tries to fix some arbitrarily perceived social injustice it is the very people it tries to help that it hurts the most…

  24. Make a video of how to dodge wealth tax, so we can see the perspective of rich people and what they would do to dodge the tax.

  25. Jeff Bezos' net worth is 100B but it's locked up in Amazon Stock. If he were to have to sell $3B amazon stock each year JUST to cover his 3% tax, it would lower the price of AMZN stock because that large amount he has to sell makes his holdings illiquid. Jeff and everyone over $50 million who owns AMZN stock would have to dump stock just to pay the taxes lowering everyone's networth.

  26. why are some people extraordinarily rich? they are very talented or very smart. I don't know when greedy became a synonym for intelligence. if you are smart you will be rich, if you disagree you probably aren't either of the two.

  27. How do you pay a tax especially that high when your "wealth" is all in assets? 🤔 I noticed vox didn't explain anything about how this will actually work 👌

  28. Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Luxembourg, Austria and other countries have already repealed their wealth tax because it doesn’t work in practice. The implementations was disastrous to say the least and it did. It generate much revenue.

  29. A wealth tax has NEVER worked, any time it’s ever been tried.

    Also a wealth tax is unconstitutional, and would effectively be ‘double taxation’ on the same income.

    Also, even if you took every penny from the super wealthy, it wouldn’t even run the country for a full year. The lie that the rich are hoarding wealth and the piles of cash just sitting around is laughable.

  30. Did you really just say that Elizabeth Warren is the one who proposed the Wealth tax and not Bernie Sanders?
    It never ends with you people

  31. wealth tax would never work, tax bill would be too weak, and the rich would just hire lawyers to find the inevitable loopholes anyways. so, no go for wealth tax, YES for freedom dividend and VAT tax, though.

  32. Bruh, a wealth tax is gonna flop like it did in European countries like France, Germany, and Denmark. The super rich are going to avoid the bulk of it. Those countries repealed the wealth taxes for a VAT, or value added tax. Andrew Yang is spearheading it, and he has straight facts.

  33. A US wealth tax would not generate the revenue politicians anticipate and would be repealed. Literally, almost every other country who has ever tried it has ended up repealing it because it's not a successful way of taxing large corporations and wealthy individuals. A VAT is the way to go to dig money out of these dark spots.

  34. Since debt is a factor, doesn't that mean someone with a dollar and no debt is above a significant portion of people. So this does not give an accurate picture on poverty or quality of life

  35. This is how it would work with no hiccups if it went according to plan. Now do the results of wealth taxes in countries they’ve been tried in.

  36. So the wealth tax would literally just pull a wealthy person’s wealth down to subsidize programs that the government is terrible at finding? What happens when that wealth diminishes? When we can no longer take from the wealthy? Will the problems just be solved?

  37. I don't agree whatever double taxation such an unfair taxation which is from my opinion similar to any tyrannical and unkind government authorities and violent citizens for cutting down the intelligence worth and the underlying values of society contribution by the good businessmen and that in return turning down any positive morale factors for greater giants and better business competitiveness among any other fellow nations worldwide.  Instead, the riches their incentives as appreciation tokens to their talents used in encouraging knowledge enhancements, development and innovation etc. should be admired and encouraged so!

  38. To make this work, we need to also impose the death penalty for tax evasion. I'm all for it. But we should double those rates. NO ONE should have that much money.

  39. A Wealth tax is unconstitutional, Immoral and Anti-American. How much money a person owns is non of the government's business.

  40. We already had this conversation in america. We designed a non distortionary wealth tax called georgism. We scrapped it for socialism. What you propose is simply theft. Cant run a country on theft.

  41. Once a wealth tax implemented, you will see billions of dollars will leave the US to some countries in the Carribean or some banks in Switzerland. Some billionares will buy expensive paintings and stored them in some place that even the IRS couldn't touch.

    The rich are smart in avoiding taxes. The ultra rich are ultra smart. A wealth tax is good in nature but problematic in practice.

  42. What if we made a law, that states only 70 percentage of the wealth can be inherited..,and will just be imposed on the ultra rich

  43. It makes me sick how many people would be for this. More tax is never good, it shows how much people want to be treated like children and have the government subsidise everything

  44. 1) if you are in the top 0.05% just renounce your US citizenship. Why would you need it?
    2) its not the taxes, but how they are spent. The US historically spends taxes on interventionist policies.

  45. The problem is it has been tried in other countries and hasn't worked. In fact there were a few cases where it cost more than it generated. VAT is tried and true, and if coupled with a UBI could eliminate poverty. Let's focus on the poor first shall we?

  46. I'm not sure the quest for wealth equality is a good one. I want everyone to be richer, which is most likely done by growing our economy somehow, not disadvantaging the rich. I feel like heavily taxing the rich could lead do disincentivizing what they do, for example, Jeff Bezos created a company (Amazon) which has generated billions (maybe trillions idk) for the US economy. Yes he has like 150B of that, but the rest is with other Americans through employment and goods. I somewhat like Warren's plan but am worried about some unforeseen consequences

  47. There are two problems that I see. First is that a "wealth tax" never is. The original income tax was sold like that – affecting only the top 1 or 2%. AMT too. But the rich will figure out how to avoid it and the government, dependent on the revenue, will have to cast an ever larger net. Second: I don't think that the government can be trusted to do anything worthwhile with all the money generated. They spent trillions on the "war on poverty," yet apparently it didn't work.

  48. So these bilionairs will have to sell stocks of their own companies to pay these taxes. This would tank the stock market. What about owners of private companies? They have to lend money to pay these taxes? Also, valuation of their wealth would be impossible, because most of their companies value change on a daily basis. And of course bilionair are going to leave the country. Socialism doesn’t work. Read some history books

  49. A wealth tax is too intrusive. Very scary stuff. I could never support it
    It would never work either, these guys are too smart. They would love their money or themselves

  50. I think this is a great idea, so long as it's automatically indexed so that 25 years from now it's still only in effect for the wealthiest 0.05% of people, but no way would this ever pass in the U.S.. People with that kind of money contribute heavily to campaigns, either directly or through lobbyist groups. Those people who have the power to enact this personally benefit from these campaign contributions. So long as this is the case, politicians will always be in the pockets of the ultra-rich. It's a non-starter.

  51. mark cuban debunks this pretty easily. your taxing assets not pure $, liquidity was not taken into account when doing this either. terrible idea

  52. The way the wealth tax would destabilize our economy can not be overstated. The problem is that the Super Rich aren’t filling their bank accounts with Billions of dollars worth of cash. It’s generally tied into many things: houses, luxury goods, investments, etc… the actual cash in their Checkings or readily accessible saving account (their “liquidated” wealth) is only a small portion of their total wealth. While the wealth tax is “only 2%” of their wealth, when literally Billions of Dollars of “wealth” are actually just stock, which can potentially fluctuate wildly in value from one day to the next, in order to pay the taxes on those stocks many Billionares will have to sell their stocks. Billions of dollars worth of sold stocks would in return lower the value of those companies, not to mention all of the people trying to rush to sell their stock in the company before they took a dive in value, furthering the problem (it would be like the bank runs all over again). This would lead to a vastly unstable investing market, crippling our ability to compete in a global market. The wealth tax is not the way to attack income inequality, there’s a good reason why nowhere else in the world is using it despite the fact that many other nations have a much more progressive tax system than us.

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