The wealth tax, explained

He's inspired the wealth tax plans of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Economist Gabriel Zucman explains how he thinks taxing the richest Americans would change the United States.

Taxing the richest 0.1% of Americans

Economist Gabriel Zucman inspired the wealth tax plans of both Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. He explains how he thinks a wealth tax could work in an interview with Brut.

Income inequality in the U.S. is at a 50-year high and Zucman says the current tax system isn't helping

He tells Brut, “For many billionaires, they own a ton of wealth, while having very little taxable income. One simple example is Warren Buffett. He's worth, $60, $70 billion in wealth, but his taxable income is just $10, $20 million. That's true for Jeff Bezos as well, that's true for Mark Zuckerberg, that's true for the Google founders. All of them own billions in wealth and pay essentially zero in taxes today.” Sanders and Warren both say their wealth tax would affect only the richest 0.1% of Americans.

Critics say wealth taxes have been tried in Denmark, Sweden, France, and Switzerland unsuccessfully

Zucman explains, “European countries tolerate tax competition, which means that if you're a wealthy, French tax payer and you want to avoid a wealth tax, it's very easy, you simply move to Belgium, or you simply move to some country that doesn't have a wealth tax. And immediately you stop paying taxes in France.” Zucman says that taxing the rich is not a new idea in the U.S. “The U.S. is different because in the U.S. if you move outside of the U.S. and you're a citizen, the taxes follow you. And in both the Warren and the Sanders proposals, there is an exit tax at the time of citizen renunciation. So let's say if you're tempted to avoid a wealth tax, by renouncing your U.S. citizenship, you would have to pay 40% in the wealth tax proposal upfront. So, if your wealth is $100 billion, you would have to pay $40 billion.”, he concludes. In 2019, over 70% of Democrats and over 50% of Republicans said they support a wealth tax on the super-rich.


03/04/2020 3:02 PM


  • MP B.
    03/12/2020 13:52

    Bernie is DONE 😂✌️ bye bye, commie!

  • Jayson N.
    03/11/2020 14:16

    I'm against this because when I'm a billionaire I won't want to pay more taxes! And I'm not a deadbeat on welfare so that means I'm kind of in the same class as billionaires, RIGHT?!?

  • Edward M.
    03/11/2020 09:45

    This guy is a comedian lol

  • Kenny I.
    03/10/2020 00:25

    Funny cause Bernie is a multi millionaire part of the 1%

  • Omar M.
    03/09/2020 13:33

    Que morón. Está proponiendo la sociedad del ROBO

  • Wendy B.
    03/09/2020 12:20


  • Indhhay A.
    03/09/2020 02:38

    If you earn more than 100k a year, you are f .. and if you earn more than 1 mil a year ... You got bend over and get a dp ..

  • Fred C.
    03/09/2020 00:56

    You pay Taxes on what you EARN for the year. You should NOT have to pay taxes on what you already paid Taxes ON. I don't care HOW MUCH money you have. It's not there to take away if you paid Tax on it already. If you do that, then you should also refund any and all Taxes paid on that income. Otherwise it's downright STEALING!!!

  • Michael M.
    03/08/2020 19:15

    And for everybody on your deduct their wealth from the owners wealth cause...that's where they get their wealth from. It's not magicly payed out to them. Then there's all the work know...the copy machine that the labor didn't pay for...etc.

  • Robert D.
    03/08/2020 07:51

    Total moron

  • Lauren M.
    03/08/2020 06:10

    You have no idea what you are talking about! These assets in stock are worthless until they are sold! Then they are taxed anywhere from 25% (lowest long term for state n federal) to 47%(highest for short term state and federal takes) then u pay taxes on everything u buy except groceries n clothing. Then you pay real estate tax on your home and excise tax on your cars. Don’t forget gasoline. So you are essentially taxes twice on your income and capital gains for the year on most of your expenses. Oh yes. But let’s add a 3rd tax on assets we haven’t even cashed in yet so that we can use like stocks and bonds. That will be great for the economy! YES THIS MAN IS BRILLIANT !

  • Roy A.
    03/07/2020 17:31

    A wealth tax relies on valuations of assets. This is an impossible issue to manage from a tax administration point of view. And the courts really dislike valuation issues. It will be impossible to enforce.

  • Thomas S.
    03/07/2020 11:07

    A flat tax would solve the problem! Flat tax across the board! And stop most of our government aid to outsiders!

  • Carlos M.
    03/07/2020 01:05

    There's no other super concentration of power than in US government. 3.7 trillion dollars in budget a year and they just want more.

  • Richard M.
    03/06/2020 17:20

    What an idiot.

  • Jude U.
    03/06/2020 03:10

    This is why Warren should endorse Sanders.

  • Christopher J.
    03/05/2020 14:15

    Let's talk about tax rates today, and we should start with countries Sanders points to as his example of where he wants to take the US. Sweden $0 - $2,111 (No Tax) $2,112 - $49,465 (32% Tax) $49,466 - $71,311 (52% Tax) Over $71,312 (57% Tax) Netherlands $0 - $22,535 (37% Tax) $22,536 - $38,028 (41% Tax) $38,028 - $76,638 (41% Tax) Over $76,638 (52% Tax) Belgium $0 - $14,822 (25% Tax) $14,823 - $26,166 (40% Tax) $26,167 - $45,284 (45% Tax) Over $45,285 (50% Tax)…/Belgium-Individual-Income-Tax--35… Denmark $0 - $6,920 (8% Tax) $6,921 - $83,594 (41% Tax) Over $83,595 (56% Tax)…/simple-tax-guide-for-ameri… I calculated it into US dollars so you can compare what you make here in the US and what you would need to be taxed in order to provide all the free stuff Sanders wants to give out. I want people to pay close attention who make $20K to $40K. In order for Sanders plans to be paid for our government would need to take at least a third of your income if we want to have all these benefits. How would you feel if you made $25,000 and the government took $7,000 in taxes? Sanders is lying to you that a 4% increase on incomes over $29K will pay for his healthcare. It would take at least a 12% raise across the board on all incomes and an additional 3% across the board for free college. This is why Sanders doesn't discuss or explain how his policies are paid for because if he does. The majority of Americans will balk at that!

  • Guy W.
    03/05/2020 00:07

    Once the wealth has been depleted where do you go next?

  • Claudia T.
    03/04/2020 17:55

    More evidence of soaring inequality in America: Since 1970, the top 1 percent's yearly income has increased by an average of $800,000 a year after taxes, and the top 0.1 percent's yearly income after taxes has increased by a whopping $4 million. But the typical family's yearly post-tax income has increased just $8,000. For decades, Republicans in Washington have promised that tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations would trickle down to the American people. Instead, wealth has concentrated at the top, undermining our economy and democracy. It is time the rich pay their fair share.

  • Claudia T.
    03/04/2020 17:48

    Billionaires Warn That If Sanders Is Elected They Will Become Millionaires.

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