Senators Sanders, Markey, and Gildebrand want to tax billionaires for their pandemic profits

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You can start by taxing the profits they made during the pandemic, AND touch the rest of the money later. Problem solved. That wasn’t too hard, was it?


Some people might think this sounds like a good and rational idea for a society where being a billionaire is inherently immoral because it’s impossible to achieve without stealing or exploiting labor and goods. Others might argue that it’s bad because what if I make tens of billions of dollars during a global pandemic with unprecedented unemployment and they tax those specific profits one time to help people and don’t touch the rest of my money? And really, who’s to say which side is right.

whats’ that you say there sonny? I can barely hear you over the sarcasm.


I wonder if, when this is all over, someone will calculate what the total upward wealth transfer was from COVID. As a middle class person who can work from home, I’m already part of that by virtue of not losing my job or having my health at risk for doing my job. I feel it the other way as well, as I now buy basically everything from Amazon or Amazon-owned entities.

None of these are good feels. :confused:


I think this will run into a slight problem with Musk. On paper he has gained a lot on the rising price of Tesla shares, but if he starts selling to pay this tax the bubble will probably burst, because while Tesla isn’t a bad company it’s not worth nearly what the stock prices suggest. Then Musk will be a lot poorer so he shouldn’t have to pay the tax after all.


I say raise the capital gains rate to be equivalent to the highest marginal income tax rate and make it payable not just on sale but if those assets are used as security for a loan in the amount that they are used.


Bezos has only sold $7 billion of stock this year.


Can’t find a good source right now, but several times now I’ve heard the claim that this was one of the greatest transfers of wealth in history.

And yet effectively your are still transferring money upwards, e.g. by buying from Amazon. At least here we can just got to a shop as usual. Prices are higher, though.


Did you read her entire comment, particular this part?



Tesla stock is clearly being manipulated at the top. No stable, well managed company has the kind of increases they did. That can only come from gaming the system in a likely illegal manner


They are being let off with a slap on the wrist. The British government had a 99% tax rate during WW2 to stop war profiteering.


Right. When so many local stores are either closed, or risky due to virus transmission, I can’t blame anyone for ordering through the Internet. I’m trying to minimize my purchases from Amazon as much as I can, but they still have some things I can’t get locally. Sometimes you have to pick your battles.


If you have a 150k house and the housing market heats up and your house is now worth 200k, you have exactly zero dollars more in your bank account.

Similarly, Tesla got worth more a lot, because they have shown they can execute well, make cars that even sell well during a recession and make profit despite building a few giga factories at the same time. Musk doesn’t have a bank account with tens of billions of dollars in it.

If you want to take a bite out of those gains buy shares. Being a company with a mission to accelerate the transition to a carbon free future, there are many less laudable alternatives.


On garbage day, there are so many smirking boxes in the recycle bins along the street.


well he and bezos can still buy [ multi ] million dollar houses on the regular so something’s liquid there.

during the last republican recession the government became a silent owner of many banks, selling them back when the time was right, id be fine with that if that’s the only way.


If you have assets you can borrow money against it.

The US can implement what some other countries have : a wealth tax, for example 1% above 250k and 3% above 1 M. And that ridiculously complicated system of measuring how much money is made with every stock transaction can be abolished.

Oops: Added. And that percentage amount is considered taxable income. So, if you have 250 k and no further income, that you pay income taxes over $2500.

at some point, you still have to pay money. ( and generally even billionaires have to put some money down. ) there’s mortgage, property taxes, utilities, grounds keepers, and on.

while i agree they don’t have billions in the bank, they’re liquid enough to regularly move more money than i will probably [ edit: ha! ] make in my lifetime.

example: around here the taxes for a one million dollar house are about half what i make in a year. musk just sold a twenty million dollar property.

i definitely think, along with like you say a wealth tax, we need a financial transaction tax on stock trades. so that you pay when you buy

it would bleed some of the volatility out of the market, slowing down day trading and algorithmic buys, push people towards more long term holdings, and go after some of that loose change the ultra rich have squirreled away

the more routes the better, i figure. we’ve got a serious imbalance in wealth and cost of living.


There doesn’t have to be any manipulation, just enough people who are convinced that Tesla shares will continue to rise. It’s a sexy product, Musk is seen as a genius by lots of people so they assume that Tesla will grow really fast. It’s probably a bubble, but to profit from that conviction you have to know when it is going to burst not just that it will burst. So far short sellers have been losing a lot of money on speculating that the stock will drop.

As an additional wild card, Tesla will probably be added to the S&P 500 index of largest companies soon, which means a whole bunch of index funds are going to have to buy the stock.


Spoiler: you won’t


It’s hard to sell shares in your home (though you can rent it out, or take a second mortgage), whereas Musk can sell shares of a company with increased value. Purchasing their shares makes their shares more valuable, so it’s not exactly taking a bite out of them, it’s more like you’re doing something for them with your mouth that they’d enjoy.