This week, three members of the Patriotic Millionaires were profiled in a feature in the Boston Globe. Arnold Hiatt, Woody Kaplan, and Phil Edmundson talked with the New England paper about their support for a Massachusetts ballot initiative that would raise taxes on wealthy residents and use those taxes to help fuel infrastructure investment.
From the Boston Globe:
They are the rich, but don’t you dare call them filthy or fat cats, if for this reason only: They want to pay more in taxes.
This isn’t guilt. This isn’t even rhetoric. These millionaires are putting their money where their mouths are and backing a ballot petition to raise state taxes on themselves — people who earn more than $1 million a year.
These deep pockets believe they should carry a heavier burden so government can do more.
“It’s time for us to return to where we once had been before taxes were demonized and government was demonized,” said Arnold Hiatt, former chief executive and chairman of the shoe company Stride Rite.
Hiatt was among the first to sign the petition, which was certified by the attorney general earlier this month. A coalition of labor unions, religious organizations, and liberal advocacy groups is behind the measure, which could bring an estimated $1.3 billion a year into the state’s coffers. But let’s be real here. It’s easy for them to ask someone else to pay higher taxes.
It’s hardly a tidal wave, but as the gap between rich and poor widens, more members of the upper class — from Warren Buffett to Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Jeb Bush — want to close loopholes that benefit the wealthy. There’s even a group called the Patriotic Millionaires with 200 members, including a dozen in Massachusetts, who are pushing for the same thing.