A wealth tax in our future?

Sabrin Murray 2.26.18 04

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“There is a right way and a wrong way, always choose the right way.”  Abraham Sabrin (1914-2001). “Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future!”  Niels Bohr

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One of the most important tax cases since the 16th amendment was added to the Constitution is before the Supreme Court. 

These are the facts of the case according to the Wall Street Journal essay.

The case before the justices is straightforward. In 2006, Charles and Kathleen Moore invested $40,000 in a 11% equity interest in a foreign corporation. Between 2006 and 2017, the company was profitable but reinvested all its earnings in the business. The Moores thus didn’t receive dividends or any other income from the investment. 

Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, however, the Moores became subject to a new federal levy called the “mandatory repatriation tax,” applicable to investors in overseas corporations. The new tax treated their allocable share of the corporation’s undistributed earnings as if they were actually received by the shareholders. The tax was retroactive, covering the entire period beginning with the Moores’ initial investment through 2017. The rate of tax was unusual. Instead of a statutory rate, it was a floating rate that varied according to the balance-sheet liquidity of the corporation.

If the Supreme Court rules against the Moores then the IRS may begin taxing the appreciation of assets, in effect a wealth tax.  So, if your house appreciates and you still live in it, there would be a tax on the appreciated amount.  If your art collection goes up in value, you would owe a tax.  If your stock portfolio increases, Uncle Sam would want to share in your good fortune.  And on and on and on. 

The income tax is indeed the “root of all evil.”   It has allowed the federal government to create the Welfare-Warfare state that has grown into a financial monstrosity that infringes on the rights of the American people and has given us endless wars. 

In short, the “Old Republic” died in 1913 with the 16th amendment, the signing of the Federal Reserve Act by President Wilson, and the direct election of US Senators (17th amendment.).

To restore the Republic a Second American Revolution must occur.   This is the challenge to all freedom loving Americans.  There are several strategies to achieve a free society.  I will discuss them in upcoming columns.

***************************************************************************************************  This is an update of my 2021 forecast, 


Murray Sabrin, PhD, is emeritus professor of finance, Ramapo College of New Jersey. Dr. Sabrin is considered a “public intellectual” for writing about the economy in scholarly and popular publications. His new book, The Finance of Health Care: Wellness and Innovative Approaches to Employee Medical Insurance (Business Expert Press, Oct. 24, 2022), and his other BEP publication, Navigating the Boom/Bust Cycle: An Entrepreneur’s Survival Guide (October 2021), provides decision makers with tools needed to help manage their businesses during the business cycle.  Sabrin’s autobiography, From Immigrant to Public Intellectual: An American Story, was published in November, 2022.

Murray’s Newsletter is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.



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