A Democratic proposal to tax the unrealized gains of billionaires could have an unwanted side effect: the government cutting checks to the wealthiest in down times.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden of Oregon, a Democrat, has suggested offsetting some of his party’s multitrillion-dollar infrastructure and social spending by imposing an annual tax on the unrealized capital gains of individuals whose wealth exceeds $1 billion.
Today, billionaires whose investments grow in value are taxed on those increases, called capital gains, but only when those assets sell. The new plan would tax billionaires’ investments even if they are not sold.
But one of the major questions about the plan, which Wyden has discussed for years and gained support from President