Oh Ye of Little Math April 8, 2016Posted by geoff in News.
Colin Holtz, a young acolyte of Van Jones, gets incensed at the thought of the ill-gotten gains of the global elite:
…while working and middle-class families pay their taxes or face consequences, the Panama Papers remind us that the worst of the 1% have, for years, essentially been stealing access to Americans’ common birthright, and to the benefits of our shared endeavors.
The Tax Justice Network estimates the global elite are sitting on $21–32tn of untaxed assets.
His plan, of course, is to tax this money to provide free money to everybody:
A larger income, to ensure that no American fell into absolute abject poverty – say, $12,000 a year – would cost around $3.6tn. That is a big number, but one that once again seems far more reasonable when considered through the lens of the Panama Papers and the scandal of global tax evasion.
Let’s ignore the fairness, the question of the accuracy of his numbers, the creation of a permanent poverty class, and the inflationary pressures caused by handing $12,000 out to every adult American. Let’s just take his addlepated proposal at face value.
First, how much does the Tax Justice Network calculate is owed in taxes by the eeevil rich folk?
Rich individuals and their families have as much as $32 trillion (20 trillion pounds) of hidden financial assets in offshore tax havens, representing up to $280 billion in lost income tax revenues, according to research published on Sunday.
Uh-oh. Seems like that $3.6 trillion is out of reach.
And don’t forget that a large fraction of that money belongs to people who are not US citizens.
So when you get down to it, there’s only probably $100 billion/yr available for his universal income plan.
When faced with these unpleasant realities, libs always say, “Well, they probably cheated to get the money, so let’s just take it!!”
This ignores the fact that the money is not sitting idly – it is an active part of the global economy, whether it’s being taxed or not. Taking it away kills investment, which kills economies.
But aside from that, even if you took all of the offshore money from the entire world and selfishly used it to pay only for Americans, you’d get about 7 and a half years of handouts before the well ran dry.
Good plan, Colin.