For the second time in as many years, Sen. John Thune (R-SD) is leading the charge in repealing the federal estate tax. With wealth inequality flourishing and public opinion moving in favor of higher taxes on the wealthy, removing this tax on inheritances will only make the gulf between the rich and poor wider. Sen. Thune’s bill is and should be unpopular. However, because of … Continue reading Republicans Relying on Lies to Repeal Estate Tax
Recently, Senator John Thune introduced legislation (again) to repeal the estate tax. The estate tax, which is one of the few safeguards left against dynastic wealth in this country, was last adjusted just 13 months ago to make it even more generous to the children of millionaires and billionaires. Now, the introduction of yet another estate tax repeal bill raises the question: can Republicans do … Continue reading Eliminating Estate Tax Means Yet Another Tax Cut for Millionaires
Last week, Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Elizabeth Warren proposed an “ultra-millionaires tax” as part of her 2020 platform. As someone closer than the average American to being affected by the tax should it become a law, I’m eager to see it succeed, and wish it had been presented sooner– for our country’s sake. In Sen. Warren’s plan, net worths over $50 million would be taxed … Continue reading Senator Warren is Right: America Needs a Wealth Tax
Many commentators thought it was hilarious (if a bit scary) that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross suggested that furloughed federal workers should not need to go to food banks and charities, as they could just get loans against their income, knowing that it would would eventually be paid. While this may have made perfect sense to someone with as much money as Secretary Ross, it’s clearly … Continue reading Yes, Secretary Ross, the Rich are Different
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez believes that in order to pay for her Green New Deal, the US government should raise the tax rate on income over $10 million to up to 70 percent. Despite rabid opposition and cries of “socialism!” from conservative pundits and politicians, polls show the American people agree. People are tired of the growing concentration of wealth into the hands of a small … Continue reading Raising the Top Marginal Tax Rate Isn’t the Answer to Wealth Inequality (We Need to Think Bigger)
On Sunday’s 60 Minutes interview of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), she discussed returning to a top marginal income tax rate of 70%. Many who heard this, including those who would never have incomes reach anywhere near the proposed 70% threshold, were enraged. As a high earner who might see his tax bill go up should anything similar to Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s proposal become a reality, I say “go … Continue reading Raise Taxes on Millionaires like Me
Recently, Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told the New York Times that she was having a hard time finding an apartment in Washington DC, in part because she will not be receiving any salary until she is sworn in as a member of Congress in January. Beyond the issue of Washington rent being, frankly, out of control, this brings up the real issue of how most Americans … Continue reading Public Offices Need to be More Accessible to Working Class Candidates
Despite our country’s immense wealth, poverty has been a longstanding challenge to far too many communities, especially immigrant communities. This inequality has persisted for generations, simply because citizenship opens the door to uncountable opportunities, and immigration policy has frequently been racially and economically charged. Instead of policies to ease the path to citizenship for all people regardless of means and background, the current administration is … Continue reading The Criminalization of Poverty and Legal Immigration
In her recent piece in the New Yorker “Gospels of Giving for the New Gilded Age,” Elizabeth Kolbert rightly calls out the American donor class for their underwhelming philanthropic leanings. Too many ultra-wealthy Americans spend millions of dollars on efforts that may purport to make the world a better place, but that in many instances do nothing but serve to further their own ideological vision for what our society should look like.
I’m an employer who pays my workers a living wage– no one in my plant makes less than $15/hr. Normally in our capitalist system, paying higher wages would make my business less competitive, simply because a higher median wage costs more. But one thing that has been lost in this whole minimum wage debate is the value that raising incomes for the working classes brings … Continue reading Stop Requiring Me to Subsidize Bad Business Practices
Last December, when Republicans passed their tax bill full of perks for their donors and corporations, another loophole dodged scrutiny and remained in the tax code. The stepped-up loophole, sometimes called the stepped-up basis loophole, is a huge advantage for families not quite rich enough to qualify for the estate tax (which has been raised to $10 million for an individual). Even estates which are … Continue reading How the Stepped-up Loophole Creates an Escalator to Riches–For Those Who are Already Wealthy
My last post lamented the messaging woes of progressives in combating the right’s attacks on Big Government and all that entails for the middle and working class who depends on it. Here, I will attempt to provide a solution in order to begin making headway in the midterms. First, we must take responsibility for our struggles with messaging. Rather than rolling over, we should … Continue reading The Rich Kid’s Tax… Let’s Call it What it is
While it is important that we always speak clearly, concisely, and accurately, it is far more important that we be heard. That we are listened to and that people pay attention, and maybe, just maybe, they see and agree to our points. This might rub some the wrong way, but if a message does not have an audience, then what is the value in delivering … Continue reading Big Government is NOT bad, Big Government is Essential!
One of the ills of American capitalism is the growing concentration of wealth in the hands of a few. At this very moment, the gap between rich and poor has never been wider, and it is only growing. As we are unable to even broach the discussion of maximum wages, we frequently argue over raising the minimum wage. These conversations quickly turn to ad hominems … Continue reading We Don’t Need or Want an Underclass to Look Down On
Post originally appeared at WalkerViewPoints on 12/26/17. How do you feel when you walk through the Business Class section of the airplane on your way to crowded and uncomfortable coach seating, while privileged customers are sipping their free champagne? Do you wonder for a moment how their wealth was obtained, whether every one of them gained it fairly, without privilege of birth? I venture to … Continue reading Americans Do Care About Inequality!
I don’t need a tax break for my estate tax, and my kids don’t deserve to be pawns (or kings) in the divisive game already played by the super-rich.
The President’s plan to repeal the estate tax isn’t just bad tax policy, it’s un-American.
There is a reason that the United States spends 17% of our GDP on health care, when other developed nations spend dramatically less. It’s not because we have a higher quality of care.
You can neither cut your way to prosperity nor grow your way out of inequality.
I’m an investor, researcher, and the great-grandson of the meatpacker Oscar Mayer. I’m deeply concerned by the extreme inequalities of income, wealth and opportunity that have opened up in U.S. society.