STATEMENT: Roosevelt Institute Responds to Constitutionality of Ultra-Millionaire Tax Act

March 1, 2021

To truly recover, and build inclusive prosperity, we must ask the wealthy to contribute more via a wealth tax


New York, NY— For too long, the US tax code has allowed the rich to hide and hoard their wealth. This is a problem that’s only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused millions of Americans—disproportionately BIPOC—to lose their jobs, their homes, and their lives, while those with great wealth have been protected by better health care and housing, stable remote work, and a growing stock market. 

In response to this growing crisis, today, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and US Representatives Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Brendan Boyle (D-PA) have co-sponsored a bill to make the richest Americans pay their fair share and to help fund President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better agenda.

Roosevelt Fellow Kitty Richards argues this bill is a key step to repairing our fractured economy. She provides insight on its constitutionality following her recent co-authored Roosevelt brief, “Why a Federal Wealth Tax is Constitutional”: 

“A wealth tax could begin to close America’s yawning wealth gap and repair the damage it has caused to workers and families. Congress should not let extreme, ahistorical interpretations of the constitution stand in the way of progress on one of the defining issues of our time.

In striking ways, the coronavirus pandemic has exposed the fragility of the US economy and the immense power disparities and systemic disadvantages built into our social contract. Now is the time to Build Back Better, and that should include taxing wealth.


About the Roosevelt Institute

The Roosevelt Institute is a think tank, a student network, and the nonprofit partner to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum that, together, are learning from the past and working to redefine the future of the American economy. Focusing on corporate and public power, labor and wages, and the economics of race and gender inequality, the Roosevelt Institute unifies experts, invests in young leaders, and advances progressive policies that bring the legacy of Franklin and Eleanor into the 21st century.

To keep up to date with the Roosevelt Institute, please visit us on Twitter or follow our work at #RewriteTheRules.