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Elizabeth Warren revives wealth tax plan alongside Washington’s Jayapal, seeking $3T over 10 years

Geekwire logo Geekwire 3/1/2021 Kurt Schlosser
a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Sen. Elizabeth Warren during a campaign rally in Seattle in August 2019 when she was seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. (GeekWire Photo / Todd Bishop) © Provided by Geekwire Sen. Elizabeth Warren during a campaign rally in Seattle in August 2019 when she was seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. (GeekWire Photo / Todd Bishop)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is back with a revived wealth tax plan that she first championed during her run for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

The Massachusetts Democrat unveiled her plan on Monday, now calling it the Ultra-Millionaire Tax Act, alongside Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Brendan Boyle (D-PA).

The Warren-Jayapal-Boyle legislation, aimed at offsetting federal spending promised by the Biden administration and balancing inequality made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic, would levy a tax of 2 cents on the dollar, or 2%, on fortunes over $50 million. The rate would jump to 3 cents for households over $1 billion.

“We need it to produce more revenue to create more opportunity in America,” Warren said during a news conference on Monday.

According to the Institute for Policy Studies, there are only about 650 billionaires in the country that would pay the 3% rate. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates are two of the more well-known members of that list, and Bezos’ wealth, for instance, would generate about $68.7 billion over 10 years of Warren’s plan.

Bezos and Gates are among about 100 ultra-wealthy Washington residents also being targeted by another wealth tax proposal. House Bill 1406 seeks to impose a 1% tax on billionaires in the state and generate an estimated $2.25 billion in 2023 and $2.5 billion in 2024.

The New York Times reported Monday that polls show Warren’s plan is winning support from three in five Americans, including a majority of Republican voters.

 

“The rich have only gotten richer,” Jayapal said, noting that 46 new billionaires have been created in the U.S. during the pandemic, at a time when more than 70 million Americans lost jobs.

“This [2%] tax only impacts 100,000 households, but still it would bring in over $3 trillion over 10 years. Just imagine what we could do with $3 trillion,” Jayapal added.

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