U.S. Lawmakers Push for Wealth Tax

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren defended her latest wealth-tax proposal Tuesday, telling the media she believes most Americans won’t mind being rich enough to pay it.

The Democrat made the comments one day after rolling out a proposal for an annual tax of 2%, or two cents, on every dollar of people’s wealth worth above $50 million. Individuals with fortunes worth more than $1 billion would face an annual tax of 3%, or three cents, on every dollar above that threshold.

Warren campaigned on a similar wealth-tax idea during her unsuccessful campaign for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

Other lawmakers, including Vermont's Bernie Sanders, signed on to Warren’s plan as co-sponsors. During his unsuccessful presidential campaign, Sanders also favored a wealth tax.

"It’s set up now to say we’re not going to collect taxes on any asset worth less than $50,000, so this is not intrusive. It’s not about coming into people’s homes and valuing their Sub Zeros or figuring out what their four-year-old cars are worth,” Warren said.

"But it says if you’ve got a fortune above $50 million, you pay on it. And if your fortune is below $50 million, you don’t. Good for you, either way," she added. "I think most people would rather be rich and pay two cents. This is not very fancy. It really is a tax on fortunes above $50 million."

The idea of a wealth tax in the U.S. has faced a range of criticisms, including from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who has said it has "very difficult implementation problems."