Here’s the Neat Trick of Biden’s Billionaire Tax
President Biden is trying to pull off a neat trick with his so-called billionaire tax plan: to raise taxes on the wealthy without directly taxing wealth.
The 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives Congress “power to lay and collect taxes on incomes.” Wealth is not income, so courts have found that straight-ahead wealth taxes are unconstitutional.
Biden’s plan gets around that large obstacle by taxing billionaires on the increase in their wealth. That gain, the administration argues, can be considered income: If your horse farm or your Renoir painting doubles in value, that...