If Government has the power to tax "wealth" of 50 million at X% then theoretically

Could they not tax any level of wealth at any percent? Furthermore if much of a persons wealth is tied up in their company or business then isn’t a wealth tax also a means for government to take away ownership of ones company/business?

If government truly has this power then doesn’t government genuinely have the power to take over the entire economy of they ever deem it necessary?

The government also has the power to declare war on any nation they so choose. They could, in fact, declare war on each nation on the planet.

What do you think the chances are that this happens?

(well, outside of a Trump presidency - we are in an unusual situation right now)

1 Like

Currently government does not have the power to tax wealth. So what I am doing is considering the hypothetical.

If government truly has this power then doesn’t government genuinely have the power to take over the entire economy of they ever deem it necessary?

This power isn’t theoretical, and has already been used in wartime.

1 Like

Could you provide a link as to when and what was taxed? Also what is being proposed has nothing to do with war.

Examples here are sometimes seen at the state level. For example, mansion taxes place a higher tax rate on real estate transfers of high value real estate than more modest abodes…

We always need to look at unintended consequences. A few might be:

  • increasing the willingness of high net worth people to take on debt to artificially lower tax exposure

  • difficultly in accurately assessing net worth

  • relocation of high net worth people abroad

Most people (I think) see an issue with having a lower effective tax rate for our 400 wealthiest families than the bottom half of the US, but I’m not sure this is the best remedy to that situation.

ABA has an interesting take:

Putting the constitutionality aside, I’m not sure we have the capability to do this correctly.

As far as I can tell it didn’t really answer my question: Could they not tax any level of wealth at any percent? Furthermore if much of a persons wealth is tied up in their company or business then isn’t a wealth tax also a means for government to take away ownership of ones company/business?

I don’t think the US has ever levied a “wealth” tax - property taxes and estate taxes could be considered exceptions of course).

Interesting stuff out there on recent wealth tax experiences in France and Belgium…

Yes, they could.

Perhaps - if the Government is willing to accept a company/business in lieu of cash and the tax rate is 100% per year.

Yes. However, it wouldn’t be much of an economy if the Government owned ALL wealth. The following year there would be ZERO revenue from the impoverished citizens.

But 100% tax isn’t being proposed.

I posted a couple of links in another thread about this. Here is a quote from another source I just found:

“In 1990, twelve countries in Europe had a wealth tax. Today, there are only three: Norway, Spain, and Switzerland. According to reports by the OECD and others, there were some clear themes with the policy: it was expensive to administer, it was hard on people with lots of assets but little cash, it distorted saving and investment decisions, it pushed the rich and their money out of the taxing countries—and, perhaps worst of all, it didn’t raise much revenue.”

It all sounds wonderful to the ignorant masses but never produces the utopia it promises.

Government can force you to buy a private product under threat of imprisonments, so they can pretty much do anything.

Well even in the worst countries those in positions of power always seem to be doing quite well.

That may be one of the defining characteristics of “worst countries”.

Those in positions of power are the only ones doing quite well.

Remember that the Income Tax when first introduced was to be a temporary tax only on the richest of the rich.

How has that worked out for us?

Well, we did go from a second-rate backwater country to the most successful and powerful nation on Earth.

So there’s that.

Not because of the income tax. Somehow we managed to defeat one of the two of the most powerful military establishments in Europe and take their new world colonies without it as well as winning the Mexican-American war.

You mean like Vietnam defeated us and how Syria is defeating us now? You have a point.

But since we’re going all 18th-Century here, we paid for the Revolutionary War by borrowing money from that other most powerful military establishment. In fact, we owed so much that we had to reorganize our government to pay for it (thank goodness for the French Revolution!).

Ah yes, our second-rate backwater country defeating a THIRD-rate backwater country.

And not all our income-tax progress has been military. I’d bet I could make the trip from Washington DC to Nashville, TN MUCH faster than James K. Polk could - partly because the roads are better. Not to mention that I have a much easier time flipping on a light switch than Polk had lighting a kerosene lamp when we want to read at night.
And much less starvation than there used to be.

1 Like

Trump already decided to use the goverment to confescate the legal property of Americans on a whin with no compensation using the threat of jail time and trumpers supported him after he literally did what they said obama wanted to. He literally took legal citizens firearms with the threat of jail time and conservatives cheered.

Warren can use the same power to confescate super yachts and property from the ultra wealthy

The government only has the power if people elect representatives who utilize it and/or legislate it. “The government” isn’t really a singular thing.