Congressional Republicans are considering various proposals that would result in the richest Americans paying less in taxes than they do now. But now, in an open letter to US legislators, over 400 millionaires (and some billionaires) have asked Congress NOT to cut their taxes.
More than 400 American millionaires and billionaires are sending a letter to Congress this week urging Republicans not to cut their taxes. https://t.co/AQNV33JEMH
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) November 13, 2017
They argue that doing so would exacerbate income inequality and result in “deep cuts in critical services such as education, Medicare and Medicaid”:
We are high net worth individuals, many in the top 1%, who care deeply about our nation and its people, and we write with a simple request: Do not cut our taxes. As you consider changes to the tax code, we urge you to oppose any legislation that further exacerbates inequality.
We call on Congress to raise our taxes to bring in additional much-needed revenue and to restore investments to vital services. Doing so will help create jobs, strengthen the middle class, and ensure America’s economic success. Under no circumstance should tax reform lose revenue, especially to provide tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations.
According to the Washington Post, these wealthy Americans—including doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs and chief executives—say the GOP is making a mistake by reducing taxes on the richest families at a time when the nation’s debt is high and inequality is back at the worst level since the 1920s.
Under Senate tax plan, almost half of households earning less than $100K would pay more or be left out, according to official estimates. Average tax cut for millionaires = $48,680. pic.twitter.com/eyG46ooey5
— Lily Batchelder (@lilybatch) November 13, 2017
The letter calls on Congress to actually raise taxes on rich people like them. The letter was put together by Responsible Wealth, a group that advocates progressive causes. Signers include Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, fashion designer Eileen Fisher, billionaire hedge fund manager George Soros, and philanthropist Steven Rockefeller, as well as many individuals and couples who aren’t household names but are part of the top 5% ($1.5 million in assets or earning $250,000 or more a year).
The letter is reminiscent of a 2012 New York Times op-ed in which Warren Buffet, a billionaire, argued that ultra-rich Americans like himself should pay more in taxes, and that such a tax increase wouldn’t dampen economic growth. Buffet suggested that nobody earning over $1 million a year should pay a lower tax rate than middle-class families; this proposal eventually became known as the “Buffet Rule,” and was endorsed by then-President Obama and, later, Hillary Clinton.
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