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Friday, December 3, 2021

WSJ Editorial Board: The Democrats’ wealth-tax mirage

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Democrats are scrambling to finance their spending invoice after Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema shot down their plans to boost company and particular person income-tax charges. Thanks, Senator. However now Democrats are reaching deep into their grab-bag of income tips and should pull out a wealth tax on “billionaires.”

Nancy Pelosi confirmed on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday that the Democrats’ spending invoice will in all probability “have a wealth tax.” Give the Speaker credit score for candor. The Biden Administration is pretending that Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden’s plan to tax unrealized capital beneficial properties of “billionaires” is one thing else.

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“It’s not a wealth tax, however a tax on unrealized capital beneficial properties of exceptionally rich people,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen was at pains to elucidate. The Treasury gig hasn’t been good for her popularity. However she definitely is aware of {that a} tax on unrealized capital beneficial properties is a de facto wealth tax, which might be levied on property reasonably than revenue.

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For instance, if Jeff Bezos’s Beverly Hills property appreciates by 10% in a 12 months, he might be taxed on its improve in worth. Ditto for his Amazon inventory holdings. At the moment such belongings are solely taxed after they’re offered, which is when the revenue is realized.

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