American Consequences - September 2020

much wealth . The words “excessive” and “extreme” as it pertains to wealth appear throughout the bill. “ For the benefit of accumulating excessive wealth in this state there shall be imposed an annual tax of 0.4% upon the worldwide net worth of every resident in this state in excess of the following ... For married taxpayers filing separately, fifteen million dollars ... For all other taxpayers, thirty million dollars .” (emphasis added) Here’s State Assemblyman Rob Bonta of Oakland explaining the nuts and bolts of his proposal. Take note of how cavalier he is about what would otherwise be straight- up theft if he didn’t carry the government’s imprimatur... If you’re a married couple filing jointly, if you have $30 million in joint assets, the amount over $30 million is what is taxed... So you get your first $30 million untaxed. Your next $10 million is taxed at about $40,000. Your next $10 million after that, another $40,000. Bonta downplays anxiety over adding another tax to an already overtaxed state by relying on liberalism’s predictable battle cry... Marxist class warfare: “It affects about 0.15% of the California population – not the top 10%, not the top 1%, the top 0.15%... about 30,000 people.” Of course, if you think that politicians who currently show no restraint with spending money they didn’t earn won’t eventually lower that threshold to entangle even more families, I have a totally on-budget, on-time high-

Progressives are planning to go after everything you own if you haven’t already waved goodbye to the Hollywood Hills. Normally, it’s risky to quote from legislation at length. The text is both painfully boring and intentionally opaque. It’s written by lawyers, for lawyers. But in this case, while the wording is still obnoxiously clunky, the intention of the text is abundantly clear. So we’ll reference large swaths of it to give a full picture of how progressives are planning to go after everything you own if you haven’t already waved goodbye to the Hollywood Hills. With that said, let’s dive right into Assembly Bill No. 2088. It starts with the fundamental conceit that lawmakers have been given the Solomonic wisdom to judge how much wealth is too HOW MUCH WEALTH IS TOO MUCH? Legislative Democrats have instead proposed the nation’s first-ever wealth tax, a scheme that would expand the state government’s reach to cover a person’s combined assets. After all, why bring spending in line with tax revenue – also known as responsible governance – when it is far easier to treat “the rich” like a bottomless ATM? Yet what makes this legislation truly alarming is that it would apply to former residents, as I’ll explain in a bit.


September 2020

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