Elizabeth Warren Still Wants a Wealth Tax. It Still Won’t Work.

Excerpt:

Warren is spending this week talking up her “Ultra-Millionaire Tax Act.” It’s essentially a refreshed version of the same idea she proposed during her failed bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. The current measure, like the old one, would tax the net worth of American households with more than $50 million in assets to the tune of 2 percent annually, with an additional 1 percent tax for households worth more than $1 billion. Warren favored the wealth tax in 2019 when the economy was generally doing pretty well. But now, she says, it’s needed “because of the changes in this country under the pandemic.”

….

Yellen is right, by the way, that Warren’s plan would have “implementation problems.” That’s a polite way of saying it wouldn’t work. The wealthy tend to have difficult-to-value assets, and forcing the IRS to value them every year in order to assess the tax would, in the words of one tax expert, be an “administrative nightmare.” 

Author(s): Peter Suderman

Publication Date: 2 March 2021

Publication Site: Reason

Elizabeth Warren and the SEC Should Let the GameStop Lulz Go On

Excerpt:

Of course, if there’s one thing America’s national political class does not like or understand, it is lulz. Lulz are inherently chaotic and disorderly, and that tends to cause headaches for most anyone with a bureaucratic bent. But it also produces reactions like one we saw yesterday, in which Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) used the GameStop episode to call for intervention by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 

It’s not at all clear what the SEC could do to stop what is essentially a financial market flash mob, aside from ensure that no large institutional investors are secretly in on the WallStreetBets side of the trade. If that’s the case (and it may well be, though who knows), then the SEC will probably end up taking some sort of action based on existing rules designed to prohibit fraudulent pump-and-dump schemes, where stocks are artificially boosted and sold off. 

Author(s): Peter Suderman

Publication Date: 28 January 2021

Publication Site: Reason