This letter comes in response to the Guest View editorial (“Hey big spenders”) from the Chicago Tribune published in The Sentinel Monday. The author trashes the Democratic field as people carelessly planning on spending money they don’t have.

As I listen to the candidates, I hear people addressing critical issues in our economy that are hard to reconcile with our belief in American exceptionalism. Hard to call a country that can’t educate its children in a manner that is competitive globally; that has the worst health-care outcomes for any industrialized nation; that has been unable to bring down the price of prescription drugs; and is unable to address a raging epidemic of drug addiction, exceptional. Exceptional in exactly what?

It’s fair to say that most of the Democratic field has not said they would pay for this. It’s fair to ask them for more specificity. But this author’s argument is weakest when s/he decides to throw Elizabeth Warren in with the rest of the field. Because Elizabeth actually does have a plan. Her wealth tax would take just 2 cents of every dollar after an individual’s first $50 million of wealth. Because she has been clear where the money will come from, the author has to find someone to say her plan won’t work — because it’s administratively hard, because the rich will get around it or because it could be called unconstitutional.

Collecting taxes is always an administrative nightmare and yet we do it each year. Our tax laws are unfair and the rich get around them in ways that are institutionalized in our system. But if there is one person in our country that I would personally trust to push through a wealth tax, it’s Elizabeth Warren. This is a woman who does her homework.

Experts agree that Elizabeth’s wealth tax will yield over $2.75 trillion over the next 10 years. That is how much the astonishingly rich have accumulated. We can do a lot of good with that money.

I would actually love to hear an astonishingly wealthy person, meaning someone with more than $50 million in wealth, stand up and say that taking this 2 cents on their wealth over $50 million just isn’t fair to them. It’s worth noticing that a sizable minority of the astonishingly wealthy support this kind of wealth tax.


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