How do some of the wealthiest people in the United States feel about paying a “wealth tax” on the top 1%? According to an open letter published on Medium this morning, apparently, pretty good.
Numerous billionaires (including Abigail Disney, heir to Disney), George Soros, Chris Hughes (the Facebook co-founder), Molly Munger, and Regan Pritzker, among others, wrote that “America has a moral, ethical and economic responsibility to tax our wealth more. A wealth tax could help address the climate crisis, improve the economy, improve health outcomes, fairly create opportunity, and strengthen our democratic freedoms.”
Specifically, they’re supporting a proposal that would impose a tax of 2 cents on every dollar of assets over $50 million to start. Then, there would be an additional tax of 1 cent per dollar on assets over $1 billion. According to the Medium post, this tax would create close to $3 trillion in tax revenue within ten years.
If this rings a bell, it’s probably in regards to the tax wealth plan Senator Elizabeth Warren has already put forth, which (basically) involves a higher tax on just 75,000 of the richest families in the country. The open letter nods to her plan, as well as support from fellow 2020 hopefuls former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke and Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Though, to be clear, the letter does note that it is a “nonpartisan” effort and doesn’t endorse any candidate.
“We are writing to call on all candidates for President, whether they are Republicans or Democrats, to support a moderate wealth tax on the fortunes of the richest [one-tenth] of the richest 1% of Americans — on us,” the 19 participants wrote in the Medium post. “The next dollar of new tax revenue should come from the most financially fortunate, not from middle-income and lower-income Americans.”
“In our republic, it is the patriotic duty of all Americans to contribute what they can to the success of the country, and the wealthiest are no exception,” the post continues. “Others have put far more on the line for America. Those of us in the richest 1/10 of the richest 1% should be proud to pay a bit more of our fortune forward to America’s future. We’ll be fine — taking on this tax is the least we can do to strengthen the country we love.”
Should there be any ambiguity about where they hope their taxes will go, the letter breaks down six points including the opioid crisis, climate change, and student debt relief.
The full list of co-signatories includes: Abigail Disney, Chris Hughes, Louise Bowditch, Robert Bowditch, Sean Eldridge, Stephen English, Agnes Gund, Catherine Gund, Nick Hanauer, Arnold Hiatt, Molly Munger, Regan Pritzker, Justin Rosenstein, Stephen Silberstein, Ian Simmons, Liesel Pritzker Simmons, Alexander Soros, George Soros, and someone who wanted to remain “Anonymous.”
If you want to read the open letter in full, check it out here.