Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen: Democrats Considering To ‘Impose A Tax On Unrealized Capital Gains’

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Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday that Senate Democrats are considering a proposal to impose a tax on unrealized capital gains of the wealthiest Americans.

Yellen made the remarks in response to a question from Tapper about whether a wealth tax should be part of how Democrats look to pay for Biden’s $3.5 trillion social spending bill.

“Well, I think what’s under consideration is a proposal that Senator Wyden and the Senate Finance Committee have been looking at that would impose a tax on unrealized capital gains, on liquid assets held by extremely wealthy individuals, billionaires,” Yellen responded. “I wouldn’t call that a wealth tax. But it would help get at capital gains, which are an extraordinarily large part of the incomes of the wealthiest individuals, and right now escape taxation, until they’re realized, and often they’re unrealized in the death benefit from a so- called step up of basis.”

“So, it’s not a wealth tax, but a tax on unrealized capital gains of exceptionally wealthy individuals,” she added.

Yellen went on to say late in the interview that high rates of inflation would continue to remain a problem for the U.S. well into next year, adding, “we are going through a period of inflation that’s higher than Americans have seen in a long time.”

WATCH:

TRANSCRIPT PROVIDED VIA CNN:

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: You just heard Speaker Pelosi. She floated some new ways to pay for this bill, such as a wealth tax, because it does appear that the plans to raise the corporate tax rate and raising the tax rate for top wage earners are out.

With those off the table, can you still guarantee that this bill is going to be paid for?

JANET YELLEN, U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY: As the speaker noted, we have a variety of different ways to raise revenue.

And, all in all, it should be relatively straightforward to raise the revenue necessary to pay for this bill. The final package exactly, what’s in and out hasn’t been decided. That’s being negotiated now.

TAPPER: Do you think that a wealth tax will be part of it? And can you explain what that would look like?

YELLEN: Well, I think what’s under consideration is a proposal that Senator Wyden and the Senate Finance Committee have been looking at that would impose a tax on unrealized capital gains, on liquid assets held by extremely wealthy individuals, billionaires.

I wouldn’t call that a wealth tax. But it would help get at capital gains, which are an extraordinarily large part of the incomes of the wealthiest individuals, and right now escape taxation, until they’re realized, and often they’re unrealized in the death benefit from a so- called step up of basis.

So, it’s not a wealth tax, but a tax on unrealized capital gains of exceptionally wealthy individuals.

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