Top tech leaders and other billionaires would be forced to hand over billions of dollars in wealth they’ve gained during the coronavirus pandemic under a new bill introduced by Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.
The “Make Billionaires Pay Act” would impose a one-time 60% tax on wealth gains made by billionaires between March 18, 2020, and Jan. 1, 2021. The funds would be used to pay for out-of-pocket health-care expenses for all Americans for a year. As of Aug. 5, the bill would tax $731 billion in wealth accumulated by 467 billionaires since March 18, according to a press release. If passed, the bill would tax billionaires on wealth accumulated through the end of the year, however.
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.
Sen. Sanders proposes one-time tax that would cost Bezos $42.8 billion, Musk $27.5 billion [Lauren Feiner / CNBC]