INSTITUTE INDEX: Will Congress fairly tax the ultra-rich?

As income inequality continues to grow in the U.S., President Biden is promoting a minimum income tax on the ultra-rich. (Graph via the Institute for Policy Studies.)

As part of his 2023 budget proposal, minimum percent by which President Biden is asking Congress to tax billionaires on all of their income, including annual gains in stocks and other assets that are not currently taxed until those assets are sold: 20

Number of billionaires who live in the United States: more than 730

Of the 10 states with the most billionaires, number in the South: 3

Number of billionaires living in Florida, Texas, and Georgia, respectively: 70, 64, 14

The combined net worth of those 148 Southern billionaires: $769.1 billion

Total amount Biden's proposed new so-called "Billionaire Minimum Income Tax" — aimed at those with wealth of at least $100 million — would raise over a decade: $360 billion

Percent of their income and unrealized gains — increases in the value of unsold assets — U.S. billionaires paid in taxes in 2021, which Biden noted is less than the typical rate paid by teachers and firefighters: 8

According to IRS data revealed by ProPublica, amount U.S. billionaires Jeff Bezos, Michael Bloomberg, and Elon Musk paid in taxes in several recent years: $0

Amount by which U.S. billionaires' total net worth increased during the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Forbes' data analyzed by the advocacy group Americans for Tax Fairness: $1.7 trillion

Last time the wealth gap between the richest and poorest Americans was as wide as it is today, with the poorest half of U.S. residents now possessing less wealth than the poorest half of China's: early 1900s

In the U.S., percent of wealth controlled by the top 1% in 1970: less than 25

Percent of wealth controlled by the top 1% in 2020: nearly 35

Of the 10 U.S. states with the greatest income inequality, number in the South: 5*

According to a 2021 Pew Research Center study, percent of Americans who say they are "bothered a lot" that some corporations and wealthy people don't pay their fair share in taxes: 59

At the same time Democrats are looking at ways to tax billionaires, average amount by which taxes would increase for the poorest 40% of Americans under a plan being promoted by U.S. Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee and one of the Senate's wealthiest members: $1,000

Rank of the South among U.S. regions where the greatest percentage of residents would face tax increases under Scott's plan, which is opposed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky: 1

Number of days after Biden announced his billionaire tax plan that U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, the conservative West Virginia Democrat and a millionaire coal baron who has blocked significant pieces of his party's agenda, announced that he opposed it: 1

* Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, Texas, and Mississippi.

(Click on figure to go to source.)