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there's this thing called constitution. Well, at least in Germany.
Basically, the constitutional court threw out the old "wealth tax" a few years ago because it taxed wealth instead of income. It argued that the constitution guarantees the right to private property, and thus taxes that are destined to confiscate property are unconstitutional. (It also argued that the - back then current - form of wealth tax was unjust since it unduly privileged real estate).
Getting back to the US situation, I venture to guess that much of your problems would be solved if you at least taxed capital gains as high or higher than salaries (e.g as high as we do in Germany :-).
No need to enter the confiscation business...
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