A group of nearly 20 billionaires and multi-millionaires signed a letter calling for the next president to impose a wealth tax on them.
“We are writing to call on all candidates for President, whether they are Republicans or Democrats, to support a moderate wealth tax on the fortunes of the richest 1/10 of the richest 1% of Americans — on us,” said the letter, which was published on Medium. “The next dollar of new tax revenue should come from the most financially fortunate, not from middle-income and lower-income Americans.”
The letter was signed by billionaires like George Soros and Facebook co-founder Chirs Hughes, Disney heir ABigail Disney, and 15 others.
“America has a moral, ethical and economic responsibility to tax our wealth more,” the letter said. “A wealth tax could help address the climate crisis, improve the economy, improve health outcomes, fairly create opportunity, and strengthen our democratic freedoms. Instituting a wealth tax is in the interest of our republic.”
“The concept of a wealth tax isn’t new: Millions of middle-income Americans already pay a wealth tax each year in the form of property taxes on their primary form of wealth — their home. The kind of moderate tax on the richest 1/10 of 1% that we support just asks us to pay a small wealth tax on the primary source of our wealth as well,” the letter said.
The letter endorses Elizabeth Waren’s call for a 2 percent wealth tax on assets over $50 million.
“ That a moderate tax on a minuscule number of Americans could raise so much revenue simply reflects historic levels of wealth among America’s richest,” the letter said. “The top 1/10 of 1% of households now have almost as much wealth as all Americans in the bottom 90%. Those of us signing this letter enjoy uncommon fortunes, but each of us wants to live in an America that solves the biggest challenges of our common future.”
Top 1% saw wealth grow while bottom 50% fell:
A recent analysis of a Federal Reserve report found that the top 1% of Americans saw their net worth increase by $21 trillion over the last three decades while the wealth of the bottom 50% actually fell by about $900 billion.
The letter noted that the top 0.1% of Americans will pay 3.2% of their wealth in taxes this year compared to 7.2% paid by the bottom 99%.
Warren Buffett famously penned a similar letter in 2011 after he discovered that he had to pay a lower percentage in taxes “than was paid by any of the other 20 people in our office.”
“My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress,” he wrote. “It’s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice.”