It’s probably not a surprise that billionaires had an advantage during the pandemic.
The Program on Inequality at the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) found the rich became richer since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, increasing their fortunes by 54% — say it again, fifty-four percent.
From March 18, 2020, up to March 18, 2021, billionaire wealth jumped from $8.04 trillion to $12.39 trillion, according to the IPS’ analysis of data from Forbes, Bloomberg and Wealth-X.
Stop the presses: You’ll never guess whose fortune jumped the most.
Did you say, “Jeff Bezos”? Good work!
The Amazon founder saw a rise from $113 billion to $178 billion – an increase of 57%.
So, is a “wealth tax” a good idea or a bad idea?
On Tuesday, more than 80 unions and organizations sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging a reversal of tax cuts instituted by former President Donald Trump.
They also asked for an additional 10% tax on incomes above $2 million.
While two-thirds of those in the U.S. like the idea of raising taxes on people earning more than $400,000, Biden targets a raise in the corporate tax rate to 28% from its current 21%.
The solution is never so easy as it seems.
“A wealth tax would have a negative impact on the economy. It would reduce national income, discourage saving and encourage consumption,” wrote Tax Foundation economist Erica York in a March blog post.
From Michael Dell (Dell computers) to Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Bezos, billionaires are rolling in revenues.
And the counter-argument for a wealth tax, some say, is rooted in common sense.
“It makes total economic and moral sense to tax billionaire wealth windfalls to help pay for pandemic recovery,” Collins said. “Our pain has been their gain.”