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Democrats Rep. Don Beyer, of Virginia, and Sen. Chris Van Hollen, of Maryland, announced the “millionaires surtax,” which would impose an additional 10-percentage point tax on incomes above $2 million for married couples, and $1 million for individuals. It would apply to wages, salaries, capital gains and other investment income, but not the wealth of a million dollars.
“It is a practical, mainstream approach to raising significant revenue that doesn’t require a major new tax overhaul – and avoids the common loopholes that the wealthy often try to exploit and game the system,” lawmakers wrote in a press release.
It is only targeted at the “richest 0.2 percent,” which is about 329,000 people.
According to the Tax Policy Center, the measure would increase federal revenue by $635 billion over the course of a decade. That revenue, lawmakers say, could be used to make investments in education, health care, housing, infrastructure and clean energy, among other items.
Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, of Ohio, is a co-sponsor.
Among the other proposals 2020 Democrats have floated for taxing the rich include raising the estate tax, raising the capital gains tax rate, raising income tax rates and implementing a wealth tax.
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, w front runner for the Democratic nomination to run for president, took heat from billionaire Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates on Wednesday, who said that while he is all for a progressive tax structures – a wealth tax might be going too far.
“I’ve paid over $10 billion in taxes, I’ve paid more than anyone in taxes,” Gates said during a New York Times DealBook conference on Wednesday. “If I’d had to have paid $20 billion in taxes – fine. But, when you say I should pay $100 billion, okay I’m starting to do a little math about what I have left over.”
In a rally in Louisiana on Wednesday, President Trump went after Democrats over their efforts to raise taxes.
“The Democrats have this crazy theory, I mean I don’t know how it works … one of their theories, we’re going to raise your taxes. How does that work?” Trump asked the crowd in Monroe, Louisiana. “They’re saying, ‘we’re going to raise your taxes,’ and I’m saying ‘excuse me, does that work?’”
The president added that he is working on cutting taxes further, likely referring to the Tax Cuts 2.0 package, which is expected to be detailed next year. Once again, the White House is targeting middle-class tax relief via a substantial tax cut.