Opinions, Opinion: How To Tax Elon Musk And Jeff Bezos - Cnn

Opinions, Opinion: How To Tax Elon Musk And Jeff Bezos - Cnn

The billionaires' tax is a good start

For decades, the wealthy have been able to pay virtually no taxes by watching their assets gain in value and borrowing money which is untaxed. Edward McCaffery says the billionaires tax is a good first step in reining in this huge loophole

10/27/2021 6:01:00 AM

'The Billionaires' Tax Plan being floated by Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden is an excellent first step in getting the wealthiest Americans to pay something, after a century of nothingness,' Edward J. McCaffery writes for CNNOpinion

For decades, the wealthy have been able to pay virtually no taxes by watching their assets gain in value and borrowing money which is untaxed. Edward McCaffery says the billionaires tax is a good first step in reining in this huge loophole

(CNN)The Billionaires' Tax Plan being floated by Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden is an excellent first step in getting the wealthiest Americans to pay something, after a century of nothingness.Decades ago, I coined the phrase"Buy Borrow Die" to describe how rich Americans avoid paying their fair share of taxes. The recent ProPublica reporting on the techniques used by the rich to pay little or no income taxes by borrowing based on the increased value of their assets and holding onto them until death, bears out the point. For a long time, I've been following the failure of Congress to do anything at all to tax the rich, and so the recent debates about funding President Biden's"Build Back Better" plan are of keen interest to me. Enter Wyden's Billionaires' Tax Plan. Public discussion about the plan has focused on the tax as some strange new beast. It is not. Nor is it a"wealth tax," potentially liable to Constitutional challenge. The plan, however complex it may end up being in its many devilish details, rests on a surprisingly simple idea: that billionaires should pay tax on their incomes, just like tens of millions of working Americans do every year. That's hardly radical stuff.It all starts with the idea that an income tax is supposed to tax the gains from both labor and capital, the two major sources of one's"income." Our income tax does not. Ever since 1920 at least, the US has failed to tax the rise in value or"mere appreciation" of an asset until it is sold or otherwise disposed.Read MoreMany readers know this from owning a home: When your house rises in value, you do not have to tell the IRS about the good news. The trouble comes when billionaires like Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos own stock in corporations like Tesla or Amazon that never pay dividends. Rather than draw a salary, they reap their compensation in the form of higher stock value. This is the Buy step, the simple advice to buy assets that rise in value without ever paying out cash for the government to tax. The reason it's so easy for wealthy Americans to hide their money — and how to stop itSo the rich hold a lot of non-cash bearing assets. Where's the harm in that? The trouble continues because the fortunate few can take advantage of their"unrealized appreciation" when they borrow, which is tax-free under an income tax. (Once again, homeowners know this because they can take out home equity loans without paying any income tax.) If the rich hold both assets and debt at death, everything gets reset under current law, as their heirs inherit the assets without any income-tax obligations. That's Buy Borrow Die, the simple advice that has been perfectly legal for over a century and which Musk, Bezos and others have taken to the extreme limit of not paying any income tax at all in some years. That's a problem. America taxes work, not wealth, and those with plenty of wealth can live well -- rocket ships to space and more! -- tax-free, without even having to work.Senator Wyden's Billionaires' Tax Plan would change this situation by making America's billionaires -- there are over 700 of them at last count -- pay tax each year on the rise in value of their assets. This is income the rich can convert to cash by borrowing. It should be taxed. Billionaires have no compelling reason not to pay tax on it. For those worried about such things, the plan will include provisions for tax relief in those occasional years when billionaires' wealth declines.The Billionaires' Tax Plan is not a wealth tax. It is a step needed to perfect the income tax, to make it be what is was always supposed to be: a tax on both wealth and work. Income is income, and the"income" that comes without having to break a sweat or get out of bed deserves to be taxed at least as much as the income most of us get by actually grinding it out on most days. In the end, the Billionaires' Tax Plan might not come to pass this time around. If it does, it will only be a small step towards making the income tax a true income tax and getting all Americans to pay their fair share. The plan will be complicated, costly, and may not raise much revenue in the end. Get our free weekly newsletterSign up for CNN Opinion's new newsletter.

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Opinion All of your news anchors can afford to do more. Cover that. Opinion Or, instead of the government stealing what’s not theirs, they could try spending less. You know, if you don’t have it, don’t spend it. Opinion Probably the dumbest tax plan ever. How do you calculate the gain without burning all the proceeds?

Opinion This is a horrible idea, it will start at the top and keep rolling down to the poor Opinion Absolutely terrible idea. Fix the problem at the time of death. Tax the shiz out of the inheritance. Opinion Congress sets up all the tax loopholes but then complains when people use them. These people aren't serious.

Opinion Unless your government relies on the 'tax revenue' of the masses, the answer should come to light. This formula is very simple. Amen Opinion The politician's bragging contest is on Opinion I’m rich bitch 😂 Opinion The top 1 percent pay 40 percent of the taxes. Opinion Taxing unrealized gains is a terrible plan. They then take their money out of things like the stock market which benefits the entire economy into things like art. Which then prove its gains need taxing. Then when billionaire money is gone they come for you and I.

Senate Democrats push for tax on billionaires to help fund spending planSenate Democrats are eyeing a tax on billionaires to help fund their social spending package amid pushback on income and corporate tax hikes. Figure that would raise 15 B, maybe. US Gov't spends approx 23 B PER DAY. What exactly is that rich tax going to get you? Change your spending habits! The irony in all of this is it’s a wealth tax until it isn’t. If they impose unrealized gains tax on the rich, what makes you so sure they won’t on you? The $250 billion it raises over 10 YEARS will be spent in minutes… if government was a stock, I would short it with both hands ClosingBell Tell me again who ran up the massive debt?

Opinion good Opinion About time!!!! Opinion A good first step would be writing an effective income tax law. Not creating tax on unrealized income. Opinion No, abolish our tax system. Let a man keep his wages. Opinion should earn and live. I am not talking about the dimension of nationalism or thought, but about the holistic and fundamental position of the future of mankind.

Opinion If we are in a situation where we have to rely on the benefits of all 'manufacturing', including architecture, then that 'number of items' must be limited. Then, the nation and politics should think and give advice on how we, the masses, Opinion TaxTheRich Seriously. The rest of us are tired of carrying the brunt of the taxes. TaxTheRich

Opinion Good

Billionaire Tax Faces Likely Constitutional ChallengeThe Democrats’ plan to tax billionaires’ unrealized capital gains has a problem: It will likely be challenged in court as unconstitutional. Of coarse it is🤣🤣🤣 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 JennaMC_Laugh CYBERCOM_DIRNSA NSAGov CIA mossad_career GDarmanin BWallaceMP Taiwan should be invaded if bitcoin prices are above $40,000

Democrats race to finish social safety net bill, but key disputes persistThe party is grappling with uncertainty over a potential billionaires tax and progressive anxiety over trimming climate change provisions. . SenSanders and other Dem senators should vote no on the gutted BuildBackBetterAct . We should not gl along with the corporate backed infrastructure part of the Bill. Republicans sit on the sidelines because they don’t care about child care, health care, education, and the climate.

Holdout Sen. Manchin agreeable to wealth tax for Biden plan, source saysPresident Biden’s proposals for new taxes on billionaires and companies to help fund his domestic agenda has the apparent backing of Sen. Joe Manchin.

Billionaire's tax is the worst idea ever, says NYU professor DamodaranThe new tax proposal targeting billionaires is not only ineffective, but one of the worst tax ideas ever, NYU Stern School of Business professor Aswath Damodaran says. Here's why. Get all the dead money moving, KIS I say tax all professional athletes. They dont create jobs, provide nothing important to society, and will not know they are paying more.

Soros 'supportive' of expected Democrat plan to tax billionaire unrealized gains - spokespersonBillionaire George Soros is 'supportive' of the expected plan by U.S. Democrats to tax unrealized gains held by the country's roughly 700 billionaires, his spokesperson told Reuters Monday. The tax plan is expected to be unveiled this week in order to raise hundreds of billions of dollars to help pay for expanding the social safety net and tackling climate change. How do you tax UNREALIZED gains? It's literally not real. Well of course he is. He's been funding most of their political campaigns.