Get ready for the "national wealth registry"

Get ready for the "national wealth registry"

By this time I’m sure most of you are aware of Elizabeth Warren’s proposal for a “wealth tax” that would drain more funds from people who have too much money to pay for her expensive socialist proposals. Well, she’s been pulling ahead of Bernie Sanders in the polls lately, so the original Democratic Socialist is ready to one-up her on that score. Sanders is now talking about an even more extensive system of eating the rich, including the establishment of a “national wealth register.”

Sanders introduced an expansive wealth tax on Tuesday. The proposal is even more aggressive than that of the Warren campaign. It would levy a progressive wealth tax, starting at 1 percent for fortunes valued between $32 to $50 million and up to 8 percent on those in excess of $10 billion. That makes for a much more aggressive scheme than Warren’s plan, which has just two brackets: a 2 percent tax on wealth in excess of $50 million and a 3 percent tax on wealth in excess of $1 billion.

A wealth tax is a direct tax levied on the assets a person holds. This makes it distinct from many other taxes, such as income or sales, which are levied when money or assets change hands. Under Sanders’s plan, a tax would be levied on an individual reported net worth. To see that the wealth tax is actually paid, the Sanders campaign also called for harsher enforcement mechanisms. That includes the establishment of a “national wealth registry,” although what or who would be “registered” under such a system remains unclear.

We can once again ignore for the moment the question of whether or not such a “wealth tax” is even constitutional. The courts can sort that bit out if one of these crazy people is actually elected and can convince Congress to pass such a measure.

Instead, let’s just look at the raw numbers. Warren was being grabby enough with a three percent tax on wealth over one billion dollars. But Sanders wants to ramp it up to eight percent. That means if you have total “wealth” (which presumably includes property and other non-cash, non-liquid assets) totaling ten billion, you’ll need to cough up $800 million in cash. (Which would presumably happen every year until your assets are depleted.) If most of your assets are non-liquid, that could represent pretty much all the money you have, not that Sanders is likely to be very worried about that.

And then there’s this “national wealth registry” that the Vermont Senator has yet to define. So he would like to tally up everyone’s net worth and publish it somewhere on a naughty boys and girls list that identifies who has too much money? Where would the government dig up all this wealth data? From people’s tax returns, which are supposed to be private?

Notice the similarity between this idea and the “national gun registry” that Democrats always dream of establishing. You pick out the politically unpopular class of citizens, either gun owners or wealthy “fat cats,” and start keeping track of them. That way the government can more easily begin confiscations, be it guns or money, as soon as they can figure out a way to get away with it.

This stuff is something right out of a socialist nightmare playbook. And if you have any hopes of amassing wealth for yourself over the course of your life, remember that they will eventually be coming for you too.

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David Strom 8:41 PM on March 20, 2023