Conscientious Millionaires Request Higher Taxes in Letter to President

While the GOP appears to have a certain disdain for any American who's not rolling around in piles of money like Duck McScrooge, it's worth remembering that not all wealthy people are humanity-hating dollar-hoarders. That's one lesson from the letter drafted by the so-called 'Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength' -- a coalition of rich folks beseeching President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and House Speaker John Boehner to do the sane thing and raise their taxes.

Over 40 millionaires formed the group last year during the debate over the Bush Tax Cuts, and they've banded together again over the budget. National Journal:


The Millionaires—a group that includes producer and director Doug Liman, actress Edie Falco, the founder of, and top Google engineers—wrote that the United States has helped them succeed financially, and they are willing to help the country do the same.

“Our country has been good to us. It provided a foundation through which we could succeed,” the group wrote. “Now, we want to do our part to keep that foundation strong so that others can succeed as we have.”

Obama signed the Bush Tax Cuts extension last year, but in his budget speech yesterday, he seemed to promise a return to a fairer system, noting that continuing the tax cuts on the wealthy 'will force us to borrow an average of $500 billion every year over the next decade.' And:

In December, I agreed to extend the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans because it was the only way I could prevent a tax hike on middle-class Americans. But we cannot afford $1 trillion worth of tax cuts for every millionaire and billionaire in our society. We can't afford it. And I refuse to renew them again.

Beyond that, the tax code is also loaded up with spending on things like itemized deductions. And while I agree with the goals of many of these deductions, from homeownership to charitable giving, we can't ignore the fact that they provide millionaires an average tax break of $75,000 but do nothing for the typical middle-class family that doesn't itemize. So my budget calls for limiting itemized deductions for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans -- a reform that would reduce the deficit by $320 billion over 10 years.

Yesterday, however, John Boehner continued to buck the idea of tax increases, saying, 'We can't tax the very people that we expect to reinvest in our economy and to create jobs.' Which is backwards logic to begin with, but even moreso when you consider the tax break incentives Congress gives big businesses to move their operations overseas.

AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at April 14, 2011, 3:28am

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