The Corner

Economy & Business

Warren’s Wealth Tax

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) answers questions from reporters in Sioux City, Iowa, January 5, 2019. (Brian Snyder/REUTERS)

Jeff Stein of the Washington Post reports that she wants a 2 percent tax on assets worth more than $50 million. No doubt we will get dueling studies of how much money this tax would raise and what effects it would have on economic growth. We’ll also get dueling analyses of whether it’s constitutional (I’m sure the arguments that it is will be creative). One oddity of a wealth tax is that it creates an incentive for super-high-earners to spend their money rather than let it accumulate, which doesn’t seem socially optimal.

Bonus trivia: I’m so old, I remember when Donald Trump was calling for a one-time 14.25 percent wealth tax in the 1990s. I assume this is one of the issues he has changed his mind about.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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