Democrats Unveil Billionaire Income Tax Proposal, Drawing Criticism From World's Richest Person

© AFP 2022 / SAMUEL CORUMNational Guard troops continue to guard the grounds of the US Capitol building in the extended security perimeter around Capitol Hill following the January 6th attack by a pro-Trump mob on February 11, 2021 in Washington, DC.
National Guard troops continue to guard the grounds of the US Capitol building in the extended security perimeter around Capitol Hill following the January 6th attack by a pro-Trump mob on February 11, 2021 in Washington, DC. - Sputnik International, 1920, 27.10.2021
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Under his "Build Back Better" agenda, US President Joe Biden has long promised to make American billionaires pay their "fair share" of taxes, particularly in order to pour money into his ambitious domestic policy projects.
On Wednesday, US Senate Democrats unveiled their Billionaires Income Tax proposal, which would hit the pockets of those with more than $1 billion in assets or incomes of more than $100 million a year - which, according to some estimations, would affect some 700-800 people in the US.
The new proposed billionaires tax, combined with the 15% corporate minimum tax, will oblige the billionaires to pay taxes on the gains of stocks and other tradable assets even when they have not been sold.
The proposal was designed by Senators Angus King, Elizabeth Warren, and Ron Wyden. The Democrats touted their suggested addition to the US tax code as something that would "ensure [billionaire] companies stop cheating the system".

"Right now, teachers and firefighters pay taxes every paycheck and billionaires pay nothing for years on end. I have a plan to change that once and for all, and ensure billionaires pay their fair share. It’s time for the Billionaires Income Tax", Wyden said on his Twitter account.

Warren echoed the sentiment, saying that the Democrats "can't let billionaire corporations get away with paying almost nothing in taxes, while Americans are left holding the bag".
However, the new proposal was not welcomed by everyone, with concerns about the suggestion emerging even among the Democrats themselves. Some of them prefer the party's earlier idea to just undo the Trump-era tax cuts for the rich. However, this was previously criticised by Senator Kyrsten Sinema, whose vote is also needed for any tax proposal to proceed in the Senate, given the Dems' razor-thin majority.
Meanwhile, in regard to the Billionaires Income Tax proposal, Sinema is yet to share her opinion. When it came to the corporate minimum tax, she appeared to be welcoming, calling it "a commonsense step toward ensuring that highly profitable corporations pay a reasonable minimum corporate tax on their profits".
One Democratic senator, Joe Manchin, was reported to have voiced concerns about the billionaires tax.
"I don’t like it. I don't like the connotation that we're targeting different people, as people that basically, they contributed to society and create a lot of jobs and a lot of money and give a lot to philanthropic pursuits. But it's time that we all pull together and grow together", Manchin told reporters when asked about his opinion on the proposal.
Among those who have already offered their views on the Wednesday Democratic proposal were many conservatives and billionaires themselves, including Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who, according to Forbes, is the richest person in the history of the world.

"Eventually, they run out of other people’s money and then they come for you", Musk tweeted, responding to a user who appeared to be critical of the proposal as well.

Republicans, in their turn, blasted the billionaires tax as "harebrained", suggesting that it may even face legal challenges, arguing that it would hurt the rich "job creators". Democrats, however, hit back with estimations that the new tax could generate $200 billion in revenue - something that is much needed for the Biden administration to push its sweeping spending plans on infrastructure, health care, climate change, child care, and other things.
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