Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) declared on Tuesday that “billionaires should not exist” as part of the rollout of his proposal to reduce income inequality in America through a "Tax on Extreme Wealth". But before we can talk seriously about his actual plan, we need to first satisfy this very entertaining question:
Should Billionaires Not Exist?
Let's first start with the definition. A billion is 1,000,000,000. Ten digits. Nine zeros. A billionaire is someone who at least has a net worth of one billion. Fair enough.
Now, we need to find out how many billionaires exist in the United States.
Googled it. Boom.
That led me to a pretty credible article that states there were 2,208 billionaires with an average net worth of $4.1 billion as of 2018, according to Forbes. This includes Jeff Bezos and our lovable favorites like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet.
Now let's do some math.
2,208 wealthy homies times $4.1 billion is 9,052,800,000,000 - which pretty much matches up to Forbes' approximation of $9.1 trillion of total wealth of the top 1 percent.
Now, let's take all their fucking money away.
So, in order for billionaires to not exist, we must take all their money until each of these poor fellas reach $999,999,999.99 - and not a penny more. With 2,208 of them now former billionaires, they would still make up about 2.2 trillion in net worth minus 2,208 pennies - making it exactly $2,207,999,999,977.92.
If we take 9,052,800,000,000.00 (the billions the billionaires have) and minus it with 2,207,999,999,977.92 (the amount to no longer make them billionaires) that would equal 6,844,800,000,022.089
6.8 TRILLION FOR US FREELOADERS? WOOHOO!
And no more billionaires! NOT ONE!
Bernie doesn't want to do that. When you read his actual plan, he wants to tax "5 percent from $1 to $2.5 billion" and max out at "8 percent on wealth over $10 billion". Even on the bottom end, where the millionaires are hanging out, he's saying the wealth tax would start with a 1 percent tax on a net worth above $32 million for a married couple. That's just $5,000 people.
We thought he hated billionaires and millionaires. We thought he was radical. Apparently, not radical enough.
So why the hell would Bernie Sanders say that "Billionaires Should Not Exist"?
Oh I don't know. Ever heard of media attention?