Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s “wealth tax” revealed her authoritarian tendencies, but her proposed “exit tax” — which would be imposed on Americans seeking to flee the country — is even worse.
The wealth tax has many problems. First, it violates the Constitution. Article 1 states: “No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.”
The 16th amendment gives Congress the right to levy income taxes, but not a wealth tax.
Her policy gives bureaucrats arbitrary and invasive power to get a list of all your assets and belongings, which would cause an exodus of people, businesses and capital.
Everywhere a wealth tax is tried, disaster follows. Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and Germany all abandoned wealth taxes out of necessity. The blow to their economies was too great.
Of the twelve OECD countries that had wealth taxes in 1990, only four still have them.
The wealth taxes in these high-tax countries admired by U.S. liberals were scrapped not only because they were difficult to administer. The taxes didn’t produce much revenue because people, businesses, and capital fled to other countries.
Warren has seen what happens in other countries. She knows other wealth taxes have failed. So she has devised a dangerous “solution” not seen in the free world: a 40 percent “exit tax.”
As an additional burden of her wealth tax, Americans attempting to flee its effects will be taxed 40 percent on their net worth. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ plan is even worse, imposing a 60 percent exit tax.
The Green New Deal (which Warren and Sanders both agree to) calls for everything from restricting air travel to creating a top tax rate of 70 percent. It even calls for the restructuring of every building in America. While left-wing activists cheer such radical actions, millions of Americans disagree with these policies.
Progressives know some citizens will react to this extremism by packing up and leaving. When France instituted less radical policies, 10,000 millionaires fled the country in one year. There’s no doubt many Americans would do the same thing under Warren.
Instead of learning from this example and proposing less radical policies, progressive Democrats like Warren are doubling down with an exit tax that would prevent people from leaving.
Even the left wing Washington Post editorial board said Warren’s exit tax “conveys a certain authoritarian odor.”
Warren’s exit tax is nothing less than a financial Berlin Wall. It’s not enough for so called “democratic” socialists to dictate everything from healthcare to education. They want to force you and me to live in their supposed worker paradise.
Not only is this wrong, it’s also banned by international law. The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights explicitly bans this practice — Article 13 states that “Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.
Warren’s exit tax will overnight transform our nation from a land of opportunity to a cage with a giant financial lock and our economy will be devastated. After all, few people will willingly start businesses in a country that steals their belongings in the form of a “wealth tax” and then actively stops them from leaving by using the threat of an exit tax.
While working for a campaign in Tennessee an old man once told me to “go back to your own country.” Turns out my home state of Pennsylvania hasn’t seceded from the Union, but I would rather be told that a million times than to ever hear the words, “You can’t leave.”
For progressives like Warren, consent doesn’t matter. For them, human freedom is just a Republican talking point.
Emmanuel Sessegnon is a communications associate at Americans for Tax Reform.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.