Fair Taxes

Millionaires and large corporations – who have benefitted most from our country’s assets – should pay a larger percentage of the tab for running the country.

The wealthy have the greatest ability to contribute to the collective pot, and frankly, because they have been the biggest beneficiaries of the system called America, they should pay more to keep it running. They have reaped the greatest share of the benefits. They should contribute the largest portion of the investment. And by the way, they should do it without fussing.

While it is undeniable that we need a comprehensive overhaul of the tax code, nothing significant is going to get done in the current political environment. However, there are some small actions we can take: eliminating the most egregious tax loopholes, increasing the number of tax brackets, defending the estate tax, and repatriating overseas assets.

Specifically, we have chosen to support Senator Tammy Baldwin and Representative Sander Levin’s Carried Interest Fairness Act of 2017 (S. 1020 and H.R. 2295, respectively). The carried interest tax loophole is the poster child of outrageous loopholes – it is the mischaracterization of income as capital gains that allows hedge fund managers and private equity managers to pay taxes at half the rate on millions of dollars in profits.

We will also defend the estate tax, a tax that is under constant threat by the GOP.The estate tax was introduced a century ago when economic inequality had reached such historic levels that it was considered a threat to national stability. We suffer the same level of imbalance today, making preservation of the estate tax a top priority for patriotic Americans. Slick political consultants have spent millions of dollars trying to re-brand the “estate” tax as a “death” tax, in a crass plot to deceive hard-working Americans into thinking they won’t be able to provide for their families after they have passed away. This deceit is shameful. The estate tax applies only to holdings in excess of $10.9 million per household or $5.49 million per individual.

Beginning in the 1980s, it became fashionable to talk about simplifying the tax code by reducing the overall number of tax brackets. In the Reagan administration, the number of tax brackets dropped from 16 to 2. Not coincidentally,it was around this time that the gaps in income inequality really started to open up. In order to tax the mega-rich accurately, the answer is a more progressive tax structure with more brackets, not a regressive one.

“It’s not class warfare to say that people like me – who are in many cases doing the best we’ve ever done and who can easily afford to pay more in taxes with no impact on our lifestyle – should be the first to step up and make a small sacrifice”

Patriotic Millionaire Whitney Tilson


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