Tuesday’s new analysis shows that the nearly 750 billionaires in the United States saw their combined wealth soar by $1 trillion in 2021, a 25% jump that — if taxed — would be enough to fully fund major priorities in Democrats’ stalled Build Back Better package.
ATF has just released new numbers that show SpaceX founder Elon and Tesla were the billionaire pandemic profiteers. They made $118.2 million in wealth last year, which is 77% more than 2020. Musk’s “single-year wealth gain alone,” ATF found, “would more than pay for Build Back Better’s $109 billion plan to offer six years of free preschool for six million children.”
Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, and Jeff Bezos, former Amazon CEO, saw their net assets increase by $1.4billion and $18.3billion, respectively.
U.S. billionaires now collectively own $5.1 trillion in wealth, ATF’s analysis finds. Contrast this, according to the Federal Reserve. dataThe wealth of the bottom half of the U.S. population is $3.4 trillion.
“While 2021 was a year of frustrated hopes and tighter budgets for most Americans, it was another banner year for the nation’s billionaires,” ATF executive director Frank Clemente said in a statement.
Crucially, under current law, the billionaires’ massive windfalls in 2021 will go untaxed because they consist of unrealized capital gains — a massive untapped revenue source.
ATF noted Tuesday that enactment of Sen. Ron Wyden’s (D-Ore.) Billionaires Income Tax proposal — which would subject the unrealized capital gains of the ultra-wealthy to taxation — could bring in enough revenue to fully fund a one-year extension of the boosted child tax credit, a program that lapsed last month due to Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-W.Va.) opposition.
Manchin is reportedly demanding that the proposed one-year extension of the CTC boost — which has lifted millions of children out of poverty — be removed entirely from the $1.75 trillion Build Back Better Act or more strictly means tested to limit eligibility.
But Clemente argued Tuesday that Congress “shouldn’t be looking to cut Build Back Better investments that will help working families afford healthcare, child care, housing, and much more.”
“It instead should start taxing the spiraling wealth gains of America’s handful of bloated billionaires to pay for those investments,” he added.
BREAKING: America’s billionaires are $1 trillion richer in 2021, which is a 25% increase in collective wealth. This wealth will largely go untaxed.
As proposed by @RonWydenThey could have owed up $240 billion if the, had been in place last year. pic.twitter.com/THixJOX6uC
— Americans For Tax Fairness (@4TaxFairness) January 4, 2022
The Washington Post reported last month that Manchin recently told the White House he would “support some version of a tax targeting billionaire wealth as part of President Biden’s Build Back Better economic agenda.”
The West Virginia Democrat has not yet made any public statements about the tax he would endorse, as he continues to block progress towards the Build Back Better Act. falsely Inflation could be fueled by claims
“Don’t tell us we ‘can’t afford’ to pass Build Back Better and lower costs for the working families struggling most through the pandemic,” ATF tweeted Tuesday. “Just make billionaires pay their fair share in taxes.”