Bernie Sanders Wants a 97 Percent Tax Rate on the 400 Richest Americans
Corporations aren’t the only thing that the Sanders campaign has its eye on though. Like Warren, Sanders has proposed a wealth aimed at bringing down the Gilded Age levels of wealth inequality in the U.S. Currently, under the Trump administration, the 400 highest income earners in the country pay an effective tax rate of 23 percent, making this the first time in 100 years that the richest people in the country pay a lower tax rate than everyone else. Both Warren and Sanders have proposed wealth taxes to close that gap: Warren’s plan calls for a two percent tax on households with assets above $50 million and three percent for those worth more than $1 billion; Sanders’s goes further and kicks in sooner, starting with one percent at $32 million and climbing to eight percent at $10 billion.
In a study released Monday, University of California, Berkeley professors Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman estimate that those top 400 earners would pay see their taxes change only slightly under a President Joe Biden. But the combined income and wealth taxes would raise their effect tax rate to 62 percent under Warren’s plan and a staggering 97.5 percent under Sanders’s. That money would go to fund Sanders’s housing plan, as well as universal childcare and Medicare for All.