Liberal millionaires to US: Please hike my taxes
Some liberal millionaires are putting their money where their mouths are: they are calling on Democrats to stay true to their word and allow the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest to expire next year.
Joining the likes of Warren Buffett and George Soros, a calling themselves “patriotic millionaires” want President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats to raise their taxes to levels before former President George W. Bush cut them in 2001.
“We have done very well over the last several years,” about 50 millionaires including several early Google Inc. executives and the founder of IAC’s Ask.com, say in a letter to leaders. “We don’t need more tax cuts, and we understand that cutting our taxes will increase the deficit and the debt burden carried by other taxpayers.”
Obama wants to let lower tax rates expire above the first $200,000 of an individual’s income but has been clashing with Republicans, and some in his own party, in Congress on a deal to prevent all taxpayers from seeing hikes on January 1.
The group is asking policymakers to extend the higher rates for those making more than $1 million. New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer has suggested that benchmark, as have some others.
“They felt comfortable speaking for themselves and their income bracket,” a spokeswoman for the group said.
The group says it will make dozens of phone calls to lobby Obama, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Obama’s rhetoric in defense of letting the rates rise has changed over the past year. Instead of calling the rich ‘fat cats,’ he has been increasingly citing the impact on the burgeoning budget deficit.
Republicans want to extend lower rates on all tax groups and threatened to block a deal in the Senate where some conservative Democrats have sided with them.
Photo Credit: REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton (U.S. currency printing plates at the Museum of American Finance in New York); REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (Pelosi and Reid)