Link Copied

Here's how much money America's 10 wealthiest people would have if the US had a moderate wealth tax

Methodology: The study published in Brookings Papers on Economic Activity examines American billionaires' net worths if a moderate wealth tax had been implemented in 1982.

Methodology: The study published in Brookings Papers on Economic Activity examines American billionaires' net worths if a moderate wealth tax had been implemented in 1982.

The date was chosen as the study's starting point because the earliest Forbes 400 data on American billionaires dates back to 1982.

The study examined how billionaires' fortunes would have been affected both by moderate and extreme wealth taxes. For the purposes of this article, Business Insider looked at the moderate wealth tax only, which would tax fortunes over $1 billion at 3%.

As the study's authors noted, "The wealth tax has a much larger cumulative effect on inherited and mature wealth than on new wealth," which helps explain the differences in how extremely some of the billionaires would be affected.

However, the study's model fails to account for the fact that ultra-wealthy Americans will likely reengineer their finances to try to evade the tax. That's a real possibility, former Department of Justice tax attorney James Mann, who is now a tax partner at law firm Greenspoon Marder, told Business Insider in August.

Warren's estimates also don't consider tax evasion, Mann said. The authors write that technological advances, the United States citizenship-based tax system, and a high exemption threshold make tax evasion less of a concern.

All data on billionaires' 2018 net worth is sourced from the Brookings study, which relied on Forbes data.

Share Slide

10. If the US had implemented a moderate wealth tax in 1982, Micheal Bloomberg's 2018 net worth would have been reduced by more than half.

10. If the US had implemented a moderate wealth tax in 1982, Micheal Bloomberg's 2018 net worth would have been reduced by more than half.

Actual 2018 net worth: $51.8 billion

2018 net worth with a moderate wealth tax: $24.2 billion

The former Mayor of New York City, Bloomberg built his fortune running Bloomberg LP, his financial data and media company, Business Insider previously reported.

Read more: The fabulous life of Micheal Bloomberg

Share Slide

9. The net worth of Google founder Sergey Brin would have dropped by over a third.

9. The net worth of Google founder Sergey Brin would have dropped by over a third.

Actual 2018 net worth: $52.4 billion

2018 net worth with a moderate wealth tax: $34.4 billion

Brin, 46, founded the search engine in a garage in California in 1998, Business Insider previously reported.

Read more: Google cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are worth more than $100 billion — see how they spend it, from trapeze lessons to a 600-foot 'air yacht'

Share Slide

T8., T8. Billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch would each have net worths nearly $35 billion lower than they were in 2018.

T8., T8. Billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch would each have net worths nearly $35 billion lower than they were in 2018.

Actual 2018 net worth: $53.5 billion each

2018 net worth with a moderate wealth tax: $18.9 billion each

The brothers controlled industrial giant Koch Industries and are known for their donations to conservative causes. David Koch died in August after a battle with prostate-cancer, Business Insider previously reported.

Read more: David Koch is dead. His and his brother Charles' combined net worth is over $100 billion, even after years of family feuds and massive lawsuits. Here's how they made and spent their wealth.

Share Slide

6. The net worth of Google cofounder Larry Page would be down $18.5 billion.

6. The net worth of Google cofounder Larry Page would be down $18.5 billion.

Actual 2018 net worth: $53.8 billion

2018 net worth with a moderate wealth tax: $35.3 billion

Page, 46, is the CEO of Google parent company Alphabet, Business Insider previously reported.

Read more: The fabulous life of Google cofounder and Alphabet CEO Larry Page

Share Slide

5. Oracle founder Larry Ellison would be 40% less rich if the United States had a moderate wealth tax.

5. Oracle founder Larry Ellison would be 40% less rich if the United States had a moderate wealth tax.

Actual 2018 net worth: $58.4 billion

2018 net worth with a moderate wealth tax: $23.5 billion

Ellison, 74, is also known for having a playboy reputation, Business Insider previously reported.

Read more: The life and rise of billionaire Oracle founder and international playboy Larry Ellison, who dropped out of college twice and has a $68 billion fortune

Share Slide

4. If a moderate wealth tax had been implemented, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg would have been worth approximately only 72% of what he actually was in 2018.

4. If a moderate wealth tax had been implemented, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg would have been worth approximately only 72% of what he actually was in 2018.

Actual 2018 net worth: $61 billion

2018 net worth with a moderate wealth tax: $44.2 billion

Zuckerberg became a billionaire at age 23 after founding the social networking site, Business Insider previously reported. At the time, he was the world's youngest self-made billionaire. That title has since been taken by Kylie Jenner, whose cosmetics line made her a billionaire at age 21.

Read more: Facebook is now 15 years old. Here's a look into the life, career, and controversies surrounding CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Share Slide

3. Warren Buffett's fortune would be one-third the size it is.

3. Warren Buffett's fortune would be one-third the size it is.

Actual 2018 net worth: $88.3 billion

2018 net worth with a moderate wealth tax: $29.6 billion

The "Oracle of Omaha" founded and serves as the CEO of conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway, Business Insider previously reported.

Read more: 7 billionaires who have Warren Buffett to thank for their fortunes

Share Slide

2. A moderate wealth tax would have made Bill Gates $61 billion less rich.

2. A moderate wealth tax would have made Bill Gates $61 billion less rich.

Actual 2018 net worth: $97 billion

2018 net worth with a moderate wealth tax: $36.4 billion

The Microsoft founder and full-time philanthropist recently faced criticism for his connections to deceased sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, Business Insider previously reported.

Read more: Bill Gates made donations to MIT through Jeffrey Epstein —here are all of the tech mogul's connections to the financier

Share Slide

1. A moderate wealth tax would have cut Jeff Bezos' fortune in half.

1. A moderate wealth tax would have cut Jeff Bezos' fortune in half.

Actual 2018 net worth: $160 billion

2018 net worth with a moderate wealth tax: $86.8 billion

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is currently the richest person alive. However, if the United States had a wealth tax, LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault would be richer. Arnault has a net worth of $108 billion, Business Insider previously reported.

Share Slide
More from our Partners