Bernie’s Plan Already Rejected by Sweden

Bernie Sanders, and the rest of the crowd running for the Democratic nomination, say they want to implement “democratic socialism”, “just like Sweden has”.

Well, it seems what Sweden has is capitalism.

Mr. Sanders often falsely claims that Scandinavia demonstrates the success of his socialist schemes, even though Scandinavian countries are home to some of the freest economies in the world. The confusion arises because many Sanders talking points haven’t been updated since the 1970s, when these countries were conducting disastrous experiments in government expansion. News of several decades of reform and revival hasn’t yet reached Sanders campaign headquarters.

When it comes to wealth taxes, once again we can thank our Scandinavian friends for showing why a Sanders scheme presented as a way to plunder the rich would also make the average citizen poorer. The Scandinavian experience also suggests that if Mr. Sanders ever does manage to enact a wealth tax, he really could achieve his goal of abolishing American billionaires.

Sweden abolished its wealth tax in 2007.

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Denmark had already abolished its wealth tax years earlier. Nordic neighbor Finland axed its wealth tax shortly before Sweden. And while Norway still taxes wealth, it has been reducing the burden in recent years while also cutting rates on corporate income.

Back here in the U.S., Vermont’s most famous Marxist aims to stem the ocean of money flowing out of the U.S. in the event he succeeds. As part of his plunder plan, Sen. Sanders is promising exit taxes at rates up to 60% of wealth to discourage billionaires from fleeing the U.S. and taking up residence in capitalist countries.

This might allow Mr. Sanders to hold many existing billionaires captive for a time. But his plan surely provides enough incentive for the next generation of entrepreneurs to find other locales to build their fortunes.

Thank goodness there’s a giant asterisk on the Sanders plan to achieve his dream of a country without billionaires. The Sanders plan is not constitutional, for the same reason that Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax is unconstitutional. The founders banned such direct taxes and the 16th Amendment only authorized the taxation of incomes, not balance sheets.

Wall Street Journal