A Letter to the House Committee on Ways and Means

The following letter was sent by Chair of the Patriotic Millionaires Morris Pearl to the House Committee on Ways and Means in response to their request for statements related to the May 18th hearing titled “How Tax Reform Will Grow our Economy and Create Jobs.” 

Chairman Brady, Ranking Member Neal, and other members of the Committee,

Thank you for the opportunity to submit this testimony.

I represent The Patriotic Millionaires. One of our organization’s central tenets is that prosperity begins with a strong middle and working class — people who can afford to shop in our businesses — not with tax breaks for the rich. Wealth in America has become increasingly concentrated over recent decades, and our citizens and economy have suffered as a result. Our nation needs a tax code that works for all Americans, not just a wealthy few. We were troubled by Chairman Brady’s remarks during the hearing on May 18th, and we urge you to set aside the comprehensively disproven theory of trickle-down economics when you consider tax reform proposals.

Giving wealthy Americans and corporations large tax cuts will not help the actual job creators who enable economic growth, but will rather further concentrate wealth at the very top, giving a break to those who need it the least. It will grow the savings of the few, but do nothing to grow the spending of the many. Chairman Brady repeatedly claimed in his opening statement on May 18th that we are in desperate need of “pro-growth tax reform,” but evidence has shown time and time again that tax cuts for the wealthy do not cause growth for anything, except for the savings of the wealthy.

Wealth doesn’t trickle down; it flows up.

You can neither cut your way to prosperity nor grow your way out of inequality, yet we continue to hear these suggestions year after year. Supply-siders argue they are growing the pie for all Americans, but rather than feeding all Americans, the result has been more pie for those who are already at the table. The rest of America is left scrambling for crumbs.

Over the last few decades we, wealthy Americans, have done very well, in no small measure because we benefited from public education, government services, a civil society, and world-class infrastructure, all provided by the government. However, our good fortune has not been shared by the majority of our fellow citizens, and since our success has been supported by the general public, we feel that we, and people like us, have an obligation to pay back.  We know that growing inequality will make the way of life we now enjoy untenable, and we are afraid that Chairman Brady’s proposals are moving in that direction.

We are extremely concerned, based on Chairman Brady’s statements, that upcoming attempts at tax reform will ask less of us, the wealthy, and ask more of our fellow citizens. We ask that you make a public statement upholding the Mnuchin rule, saying absolutely no new tax cuts for the wealthy.

Thank you,

Morris Pearl

Chair of the Patriotic Millionaires

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