Sanders proposes one-time tax bill aimed at billionaires' earnings during pandemic

by Joel Abbott · Aug 7th, 2020 2:24 pm
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Last Updated Aug 8th, 2020 at 4:38 pm

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), introduced a bill on Thursday that would hit billionaires with a one-time tax of 60% of all gains made during the coronavirus pandemic.

In a series of tweets on Wednesday, Sanders discussed the outline and vision of his bill, the Make Billionaires Pay Act. The emergency tax, cosponsored by Sens. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), would target 467 of the nation's 650 billionaires and apply to all gains made between March 18 and the beginning of 2021. The proposed funds would be used to cover Medicare and other government-provided healthcare programs for a year.

At the top of the list are tech and retail moguls who have made impressive earnings over the past few months as Americans have relied heavily on online shopping and services. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg became the third person to pass a net worth of $100 billion just this week.

Here's what Sanders' proposed bill would cost some of the nation's richest individuals:

  • Jeff Bezos (Amazon): $42.8 billion
  • Elon Musk (Tesla and SpaceX): $27.5 billion
  • Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook): $22.8 billion
  • The Walton family (Walmart): $12.9 billion

Multiple individuals have criticized the bill's targeting of specific individuals, regardless of their wealth, and cast doubt on the practice of assessing a tax based on fluid stock valuations.

Others have pointed out that while a few billionaires such as Bezos and Zuckerberg have gained large earnings, many billionaires on the list have made no gains due to the market crash in February and March, meaning the proposed tax would raise far fewer funds than proposed.

? The bill is unlikely to be approved, as it would need to pass in the GOP-controlled Senate and be signed by President Trump in order to become law.


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