August 25, 2020 - Douglas Myser

Taxing billionaires to fight covid. The idea of taxing the ultra-wealthy to cover the immense cost of fighting the coronavirus pandemic has gained steam in recent weeks. Not only would a wealth tax have to get through both Houses of Congress--it would have to withstand a battle in front of the Supreme Court. The IRS would also have to rapidly expand and reorganize itself to b able to enforce such a tax, and it's likely that evasion would still likely keep the tax from raising as much government funding as proponents hope. The coronavirus pandemic is causing a major budget shortfall for federal and state governments alike. The United States needs to find a way to cover the spiraling costs of coronavirus pandemic, but researchers say a wealth tax isn't it. Taxing billionaires to fight covid.

Multimillionaires like Abigail Disney and Congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez have called for a new tax on the fortunes of the country's richest people to cover the spiraling costs of the coronavirus pandemic. However, economists tell us that such a tax faces steep legal, logistical, and political challenges that it could never be implemented in time. Calls for a wealth tax that could help bridge the ever widening gap between America's richest and poorest have strengthened among progressives since Sen. Elizabeth Warren made it a central part of her presidential campaign in 2019.

Surprisingly, some of the loudest advocates for the coronavirus tax hikes are the wealthy themselves. A coalition of 83 multimillionaires including Ben & Jerry's co-founder Jerry Greenfield and Disney heiress Abigail Disney signed an open letter that was published. According to the letter's signatories, a wealth tax would "ensure we adequately fund our health systems, schools and security--immediately, substantially, permanently." The urgency of the coronavirus pandemic has already changed some minds about the necessity of a wealth tax. The International Monetary Fund published a paper urging governments to consider wealth taxes to pay for their coronavirus relief efforts.

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