Time to Use Tax Policy to Fight Inequality? Or Would We Prefer to Lose Our Democracy?

More and more, we’re reaping what we’ve sown over the past 40 years. We’re seeing it in Supreme Court decisions. We’re seeing it in the paralysis of the Democratic party. And we’re certainly seeing it in the capture of the Republican party by the fascist right.

It’s time we took dead seriously the warning Louis Brandeis gave us 80 years ago: “We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.” When 6 billionaires are pouring millions into Herschel Walker’s Senate campaign, you can bet that they’re buying power. And they’re on the precipice of consolidating the power they’re purchasing into control.

That’s why my Patriotic Millionaires colleague, Dylan Dusseault, and I developed a tax proposal for the sole purpose of combatting America’s ever-worsening concentration of wealth. In America needs a true wealth tax: Here’s our plan to tax the rich — the really, really rich, we outline that proposal. We provide a more detailed explanation here. Our opening paragraphs:

The danger that extreme wealth poses to democracy is ever-present, and the idea that it must be restrained is almost as old as democracy itself. In 1792, Thomas Paine wrote that the freedom of elections was “violated by the overbearing influence” of inherited wealth, and proposed an extremely aggressive wealth tax that would have put a hard ceiling on how much wealth a person could accumulate. Nearly a century ago, Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis famously observed: “We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”

Paine’s plan to fix this problem was the right one: taxation. America’s ever-increasing inequality has motivated recent tax proposals targeting the ultra-rich, but the primary purpose has been to raise revenue, with any reduction in our concentration of wealth being incidental. While we do not oppose any of those proposals, we believe America needs a tax designed exclusively for the purpose of addressing the threat that our extreme concentration of wealth poses to democracy.

Continue reading at Salon.


Discover more from Blog for Arizona

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.