Stubhub president: 'Universal tax' on the wealthy is not the solution

Adriana Belmonte
Associate Editor

Left-leaning politicians like Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have pushed recently to impose additional taxes on the wealthy, but not everyone is fully on board.

While speaking with Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer on an episode of “Influencers with Andy Serwer,” Stubhub’s president, Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, expressed skepticism towards the notion of a universal wealth tax.

Sukhinder Singh Cassidy speaks onstage during Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on October 3, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

“I am for sure a capitalist who believes that innovation comes from open markets,” Singh Cassidy said. “Open markets doesn’t mean you’re absent responsibility, but it also doesn’t mean that [the way to] solve all of these things is a universal tax.”

AOC’s wealth tax proposal is a 70% tax aimed at those who earn more than $10 million a year. While hers is targeted at income, Warren has proposed a tax on wealth. She has proposed a 2% wealth tax on individuals with a net worth of over $50 million and a 3% tax on those with over $1 billion. As for Sanders’s plan, the presidential candidate would raise the top estate tax rate to 77% (the top rate in 2018 was just 40%).

Polls indicate that American voters support increasing taxes on the wealthy to some extent. A Fox News survey of 1,008 registered voters found that 70% of Americans (including over 50% of Republicans) support raising taxes on those who earn more than $10 million. And, a Politico/Morning Consult poll of 1,993 people found that 76% of voters believe wealthy Americans should be paying more in taxes.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. are both in favor of wealth taxes. (Photo: AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Nearly 30 years ago, 12 countries in Europe imposed taxes on citizens’ wealth, NPR’s “Planet Money” has noted. That number dwindled to three by 2018, largely because, not surprisingly, the wealthy didn’t appreciate their net worth being taxed.

Case in point: Nearly 42,000 millionaires left France between 2000 and 2012, according to Planet Money. And, the OECD reported that wealth taxes distorted saving and investment decisions without raising enough revenue. Whether or not this would be the case if a wealth tax were to be passed in the U.S. remains to be seen.

“I think we want to do things that promote innovation, and I think we want to be responsible stewards,” Singh Cassidy said. “And I will always walk that line.”

Adriana is an associate editor for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @adrianambells.

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