Billionaire Confiscation Scenario
Also sponsored by Earth Pendant at PeacefulJewelry
How much could Bernie Sanders Raise?
Suppose instead of just taxing America's billionaires Bernie Sanders could just plain confiscate their money. Could he fulfill his campaign pledges to give every agrieved person in the U.S. what they want? MORE? Free college tuition, free medicine, higher welfare payments, and so on?
I decided to use the Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans to see how much could be raised. I note there are over 400 American billionaires, but the pickings start to thin out around there. Number 400 on the list for 2015 is, well a bunch of people tie for 392 to 400, but last listed is Richard Yuengling, Jr. with a mere $1.7 billion in money he made making beer.
Adding up the total (which is probably lower as I write due to the 2016 stock market swoon) I get (using rounding & other tricks to keep from having to do too much math):
Well, that seems like a lot of money to a poor country boy like me. But it would hardly make a dent in the national debt, which is currently around $18 Trillion. It would cover the national deficit for 4 years, using the newest estimates following the tax giveaway the Republicans in Congress and President Obama agreed to in December as part of the Let's Everyone Get Re-elected budget bill.
Of course, once you confiscate these 400 people, aside from putting 400 new people on Food Stamps, you can't collect annual taxes from them.
Bernie Sanders is a clever politician, and probably sincere about his progressive values. But let's not kid ourselves: he's earned his keep as a politician for about 35 years now.
Bernie saw an opportunity. No one was running against Hillary. He started waving his hands around, acting all angry, and promising everyone everything, all to be paid for by new taxes on "the rich."
Most brilliantly, he promised free college education (and presumably payoffs of all student loan obligations) for all, thus gaining a large army of volunteers for his campaign.
I doubt, even if he is elected President, that he will get his programs through Congress. Even if he has a Democratic Congress to work with.
If he does manage to tax "the rich," I'm fine with that. I'm not rich. Much as I have tried for a few hours now and then during my life.
Here's who will be taxed if he does get his programs passed: everyone. And that is okay with me. The rich will be taxed a lot more, and the upper midde class, those making $50,000 a year or more, will probably take the blunt of most of it.
And hopefully that free college tuition will include Graduate School. I've always wanted a PhD., I just never thought I could afford it. If Social Security is raised enough, I'll just go on that, because I'm not all that fond of work.
As to the national debt, Bernie is like most liberals. He mistakes what happened when Franklin Roosevelt first spent a lot of money on the New Deal and then on World War II for a sane program. He refuses to take into account that U.S. prosperity starting during World War II and continuing until around 1970 had a different cause. Everyone else's factories were bombed to shreds in World War II except for ours. Americans made out like international bandits from about 1940 until 1970.
The best way to deal with billionaires, short of a revolution, is to raise the inheritance tax on fortunes over $1 billion to about 90%. All loopholes would have to be closed, to, including "charitable" family trusts. The poor little trust fund darlings of billionaires will have to get by dividing up a mere $100 million or so.
Agree? Disagree? You can comment on this post at Natural Liberation Blog at blogspot.com
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