Earlier this month, a group of millionaires proposing higher taxes on themselves and other high-earning Americans met with senior White House officials, congressional Republican staffers, and Democratic congresspeople to discuss their agenda in light of the looming fiscal cliff.
This organization, Patriotic Millionaires For Fiscal Strength, has attracted over 200 millionaires who endorse raising the highest tax rate to help reverse the nation’s growing burden of debt.
Members of this organization casually refer to themselves as the 1%, but their primary policy priority is to contribute more in taxes for the country’s sake.
Here’s a list of the Patriotic Millionaires’ other preferred policy outcomes, from the Agenda Project:
- Tax capital gains at 20-28%
- Tax dividends as regular income
- Limit total deductions either by dollar amount or percentage of income
- Increase the inheritance tax
Patriotic Millionaires understand that their involvement might be bad for business, or as one entrepreneur put it, “My accountant hates that I’m here.” But they don’t believe that raising the highest tax rate will cause businesses to cut back on hiring. Rather, they insist that tax rates have never factored into any of their hiring decisions. Their rationale is that entrepreneurs about worry about effective rates going up by 13% – they’re going for triples and homers, and don’t mind striking out once in a while. The risk of an enterprise’s failure far exceeds employee costs.
The group also offered a rebuttal to the most common criticism it receives: that there’s nothing to stop anyone who wants to from paying more to the Treasury. The Patriotic Millionaires’ stance is that the tax debate is not a matter of personal virtue, but rather of societal choices. Reliance on voluntary tax payments would be unrealistic, and far from prudent policy.
The organization’s members realize that the nation’s budget can’t be balanced on their backs, but as one Patriotic Millionaire declared, “If we’re not including higher tax rates on upper incomes in the discussion, it’s crazy.”
Tal Zlotnitsky, CEO of iControl Systems
Zlotnitsky, a venture capitalist who started a $100 million business in his basement, calls his story ‘uniquely American.’ He immigrated to the U.S. illegally at the age of 12 without knowing a word of English, and credits his development to his ESL teacher, Ms. Nunez.
He believes that raising taxes on millionaires is a no-brainer:
“If the question is whether I have an extra $20,000 in my bank account or if there’s another teacher in the classroom in Philly, then what is the question?”
David Watson, entrepreneur and former Google software engineer
David sees a direct connection between his journey from the middle class to the 1% and America’s unparalleled social infrastructure.
He is involved because he wants millionaires to have a “voice for ourselves” in the ongoing tax debate – a voice that doesn’t necessarily coincide with the Republican Party’s stance on the interests of the wealthy.
Garrett Gruener, founder of Ask.com
Gruener wrote an op-ed in September 2010 titled “I’m Rich; Tax Me More.” He believes that those fortunate enough to benefit from the U.S. socioeconomic infrastructure should give back, and says that in his experience as a venture capitalist, tax rates have never played any role in his decision-making process.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
read full article