A key ingredient in solutions from Congress is new taxes. Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, has laid out plans to tax the richest Americans.
This is not an editorial urging sympathy for billionaires. They can pay people to cry for them. But we do have some questions about the ideas behind the new tax proposal.
This tax likely won’t apply to you. There may be only some 700 people in the country who might have to pay. (If it does apply to you, ever thought about investing in a local newspaper?)
“Wyden’s draft legislation would apply a new tax, beginning in 2022, for individuals with at least $1 billion in assets or $100 million annual income in three straight taxable years,” RollCall says. “It would apply to about 700 people, according to Wyden’s office.”
In some cases, people build fortunes when good ideas take off. They can get wealthy by owning company stock that grows in value. That seems fair. But they can escape paying yearly taxes if they avoid selling shares. They can also borrow against those stock holdings and invest the money.
Is that unfair? Does it become unfair after a certain amount of money? Is it constitutional? The Constitution grants Congress the power to levy income taxes. Would this kind of taxation pass a legal test?
You can let Wyden know what you think here: wyden.senate.gov/contact