How Much Would Warren’s Ultra-Millionaire Tax Really Raise?

How Much Would Warren’s Ultra-Millionaire Tax Really Raise?


Elizabeth Warren says her proposed wealth tax — 2% on Americans with assets above $50 million, or 3% for those with more than $1 billion — would raise $2.75 trillion over 10 years, based on estimates from noted Berkeley economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman.

Others have questioned that figure, though, and a new paper — still a work in progress — from economists at the Treasury Department, Princeton and the University of Chicago suggests that Warren’s proposal could generate far less than she expects (h/t Morning Tax).

The authors note that it isn’t easy to get a handle on just how much wealth is concentrated at the top, but their rough estimates indicate that Warren’s “ultra-millionaire” tax threshold would have to be lowered from $50 million to $11 million to maximize revenue — and that doesn’t factor in any potential behavioral changes, like wealthy people coming up with ways to avoid the tax.

Even then, that lower threshold would produce $146 billion a year, or just over half the amount Warren projects.