Opinions expressed are solely my own…!
The Proposed Tax
One of the favorite democratic talking points for the upcoming election cycle has been a potential Wall Street Tax or billionaire/millionaire wealth tax. The ideas floating around have ranged between taxing capital gains at a higher rate, to taxing billionaires billions of dollars each, and use this money to fund government programs or reduce debt.
Impact on the Election Cycle
In my opinion, the wrath against the rich from the Democratic party will likely be their demise, as they will not be able to get funding from large donors who typically make up a large portion of campaign funding. President Trump has already been able to raise more than 5x more what Bernie has raised this quarter, and I can almost guarantee it has a lot to do with democrats wanting to highly tax the rich. Does this have to do with the ongoing impeachment inquiry, or are donors putting money in a spot that will be better for their wallets?
Potential Impact on the American Dream?
There has also been a lot of discussion as far as these policies impacting capitalism and the American dream. I believe they do, but I would also argue that millionaires and billionaires are still going to create, invest and build wealth regardless of the tax rate. This drive toward capital redistribution may be intended to gain support of the masses, but it goes against capitalism and everything America was founded on, and is a move towards socialism.
The Real Billionaire Impact
One portion of this argument that I believe hasn’t been discussed in the limelight is what America’s billionaires actually do with their money. They are being painted in a negative light, when in fact, most of them do amazing things for our country and the world. Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk are personally funding space exploration companies with their billions and millions. Richard Branson (though not American) is another great example. This is an industry they have basically created as spending on space exploration isn’t one of the top tier government priorities. Sure, there is NASA, but NASA wasn’t the one that figured out how to send a rocket up to the moon and have it come back and land in the exact same spot, or put a Tesla into orbit. If they instead were forced to give large portions of their wealth to the government, would they be able to continue funding space exploration, that will impact generations to come?
Bill and Melinda Gates give away 35 billion dollars per year through their Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, to causes all over the world that are life changing and making a true world impact. These are handpicked causes that they support, and have shown measured growth over the course of decades. If they were instead giving this money to the government, where would it go, and what would it do?
Of course, there is always the counter argument to this. What about the billionaires that blow it on 250 million dollar yachts? That is their right, their money, and they earned it.
The proposed wealth distribution directed at those who have been the absolute best in their industries, and while it may be a popular election talking point, the impacts run far deeper.