‘We Are Not Taxing the Very Wealthy Enough’: Runaway Inequality About to Get Worse
The United States' astronomical levels of economic inequality are poised to become further entrenched in the coming years.
Wealthiest 20 people own more wealth than half the American population.
By Chuck Collins and Josh Hoxie
“Billionaire Bonanza,” a new report from the Institute for Policy Studies, exposes the extreme wealth concentrated within the fortunes of the 400 wealthiest Americans and compares this wealth to the much more meager assets of several different segments of American society.
The report proposes several solutions to close the growing gap between the ultra wealthy and the rest of the country. These policies include closing offshore tax havens and billionaire loopholes in the tax code that the wealthy exploit to hide their wealth.
The report also proposes a direct tax on wealth to break up the concentration of wealth and generate trillions of dollars in new revenue to invest in wealth building opportunities for working families.
We believe that these statistics actually underestimate our current national levels of wealth concentration. The growing use of offshore tax havens and legal trusts has made the concealing of assets much more widespread than ever before.
Two types of policy interventions can reduce extreme wealth inequality in the United States.
First, we must close wealth escape routes. Wealthy individuals are moving quickly to shift wealth into offshore tax havens and bury it in private trusts, avoiding accountability and taxation every step of the way. This hidden wealth now totals in the trillions. Our first step must be to close these escape routes and tax dodges.
Second, we need to implement policies to reduce concentrated wealth. Without action to directly reduce private concentrations of wealth, inequality will continue to grow. By seriously taxing our wealthiest households, we could raise significant revenues and invest these funds to expand wealth-building opportunities across the economy.