(MarketWatch) Some of the richest businesspeople in the U.S. could be much less rich today if Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax had been in place.
How much? Amazon founder and Chief Executive Jeff Bezos’ fortune would be about $87 billion versus the $160 billion it was estimated at last year. Microsoft founder Bill Gates would have seen his wealth cut to $36 billion from $97 billion. And Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett would be sitting on about $27 billion instead of $88 billion.
Warren, currently holding the No.2 spot behind Joe Biden in an average of presidential polls, has proposed an annual 2% tax on every dollar of net worth above $50 million, and a 3% tax on each dollar of net worth above $1 billion.
Warren has said her wealth-tax plan would raise money to fund her proposals such as universal free public college and canceling student debt.
The paper, by economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman of the University of California at Berkeley, finds that the top 15 wealthiest Americans as estimated by Forbes magazine would collectively have seen their net worth drop to just under $434 billion had Warren’s plan been in effect since 1982. That’s down from about $942 billion.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Oracle chairman Larry Ellison are Nos. 4 and 5 on the list.