We know that the racial wealth gap is real, and large. We also know that it didn’t just happen, it’s the result of a long history of government policies that favored white families over Black ones. Just because many of these programs and policies have ended doesn’t mean we can ignore their legacy.
As 2019 comes to a close, let’s take a moment to look back at the major events that impacted the state of the economy – and the national conversation around our three core issues – as we enter the new year, and the many policy developments this year that are giving us hope for better, brighter decade to come.
Simply put, wealth is wasted on the wealthy.
From time to time, a news story about a very wealthy individual doing something very kind with their money goes viral. Billionaire Robert F. Smith recently paid off the student debt of the entire Morehouse College class of 2019. Hamdi Ulukaya, CEO of Chobani, paid off student lunch debts for an entire Rhode Island school district. Last year, Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario pledged to donate … Continue reading Rich People’s Charity Won’t Save The World
The legacy of slavery and years of segregation have left a colossal wealth gap between white and black families that disadvantages Black Americans to this day. Slavery might be over, but millions of Black Americans are still feeling its effects.
Last week, former Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal bemoaning popular support for progressive policies that seek to expand the social safety net to support millions of Americans, arguing that these people don’t understand the “true cost” of such policies and that Republicans need to “make the case for freedom.” Let’s make that case for freedom. It starts by … Continue reading Who Has Freedom in the American Economy? Increasingly, Just the Rich
Most Americans pay taxes every other week. Part of every paycheck is withheld, then they file taxes in April to account for the difference. Rich people file a tax return in April too, but in any given year they are probably not paying any taxes on a huge part of the increase in their personal wealth. That’s because the majority of a rich person’s “income” … Continue reading Rich People Should Pay Their Taxes Every Year Too
It’s Tax Day, so by now Americans have had a chance to see how their filings stack up against Trump’s promises. Working folks are largely unimpressed, but millionaires like us made out like bandits. When Republicans pitched the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA), they sold it as a tax break for the middle class, but despite lower income tax rates and a … Continue reading Thanks, But No Thanks: Stop Bleeding the Middle Class to Cut Our Taxes
Whether it’s democratic socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) campaigning for it on Twitter or angry pundit Tucker Carlson foaming at the mouth about it on his nightly Fox News show, everyone is talking about taxing the rich. This is an issue that is set to dominate American political debate heading into the 2020 elections. In that spirit, the Patriotic Millionaires are launching a multi-year, multi-platform … Continue reading The Patriotic Millionaires Present: TAX THE RICH! Livestream
As the 2020 primaries heat up and candidates search for a way to distinguish themselves in such a large field, one issue has transformed into a key debate of the campaign: how to tax the rich to ensure a more equitable, prosperous society. Many of the candidates have bold tax plans, from Senator Sanders’s bill to expand the estate tax to Senator Booker’s baby bonds … Continue reading 2020 Contenders Embrace the Wealth Tax
For years, the American people have seen the gap between the rich and the rest of the country grow out of control. In recent years however, especially since Republicans passed their massive overhaul of the tax code that gave over a trillion dollars in tax cuts to the wealthy, the divide has been widening more and more quickly. Since the early 1980s to today, the … Continue reading It’s Time to Address the Growing Concentration of Wealth
In the wake of the rampant, widespread cheating uncovered in last week’s college admissions scandal, there’s been a renewed focus on the different admissions standards that money can buy. This has been a well-documented problem for years, but it seems like the scale of this latest scandal is sparking some new proposals to tackle this issue head-on. On Wednesday, Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) announced his … Continue reading Getting Serious About Higher Education Inequality
The Maryland Senate made a crucial step forward in ensuring the economic security of its labor force this week, when it approved a hard-fought bill to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 for most workers by the end of 2025. Though organizers and labor groups have been tirelessly fighting for this for years, this is the first time a bill to raise the wage … Continue reading Maryland In Final Stretch For $15 Minimum Wage
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