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Bernie Sanders unveils 'wealth tax': 'There should be no billionaires'

By
Clyde Hughes
Sanders' wealth tax would rise to 8 percent for U.S. households making $10 billion or more each year. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
Sanders' "wealth tax" would rise to 8 percent for U.S. households making $10 billion or more each year. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 24 (UPI) -- Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders unveiled a proposal Tuesday to implement a new "wealth tax" that would target millionaires and billionaires in the United States -- particularly the richest 0.1 percent.

The Vermont senator, who's been fighting with fellow candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren for progressive support, introduced a plan to tax wealthier households with steeper rates.

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"Today, the United States has more income and wealth inequality than almost any major country on Earth, and it is worse now than at any time since the 1920s," his plan states.

"In order to reduce the outrageous level of inequality that exists in America today and to rebuild the disappearing middle class, the time has come for the United States to establish an annual tax on the extreme wealth of the top 0.1 percent of U.S. households."

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The tax, if implemented today, would apply to 180,000 households -- beginning with a 1 percent tax on married couples with a net worth of $32 million. Those making from $50 to $250 million would pay 2 percent and those at $250 to $500 million 3 percent. The tax grows to 8 percent for Americans making $10 billion or more.

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"There should be no billionaires," Sanders tweeted Tuesday. "We are going to tax their extreme wealth and invest in working people."

"One of the biggest sources of wealth for middle-income families is owner-occupied homes, which are taxed in most states at rates that can be as high as, or even higher than, 1 percent," the plan states.

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"This proposal would ensure that assets owned by the top 0.1 percent are taxed the same way as much of the wealth owned by the middle-class is already taxed."

It's estimated Sanders' tax could raise $4.4 trillion over the first 10 years. By comparison, Warren's similarly aggressive tax plan is projected to raise $2.6 trillion.

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