Have you ever wondered why the rich get all upset and angry at the mention of a wealth tax? I got to thinking about it when the former president Trump’s tax returns were released recently. What the information explained to me was that Donald Trump is nothing but a con man. He has some assets. He uses those assets to acquire other assets. If the United States ever had a wealth tax, people such as Trump would end up exposed and soon bankrupt.
And it would not be the fault of the wealth tax.
Donald Trump runs a different kind of Ponzi scheme. He is not the billionaire that he tells you. He runs a house of cards. It is a tangle of options, mortgages, debt, and threads of revenue. It would take teams of accountants to sort, separate and follow those threads. The art of the deal, as I think he has told people, is to always keep ‘A’ away from ‘B.’
Trump must have also learned very young that it never pays to be the smartest kid on the block. All that buys you is an occasional bloody nose. You are usually safe with the friends who think they can con you. You can end up with their lunch money.
As long as people believe that Trump is a billionaire, he can live like a billionaire. When they stop believing that he is a billionaire, his paper will get called. He will not be able to put off paying. A late payment from one source will cause rumbles down the line. As Mark Twain showed in his novel The Million Pound Bank Note, you cannot pay for anything with a million-pound note.
The wealth tax is believed to get around this problem. In France, a country noted for trying new ideas, the wealth tax has its good points and its problems. The good news is that it is claimed to have added 2.6 billion francs to state revenues. It is also claimed to have caused the exodus of 124 billion francs to other tax jurisdictions.
All that the French have proved is that before you put up a tent in a windstorm, you have to make sure you are using secure pegs.
Copyright 2023 © Peter Lowry
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