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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Rich Americans Tell Congress to End Bush Tax Breaks for Top 2%

From Voices for Progress: 87 of Richest Americans Tell Congress to End Bush Tax Breaks for Top 2% Urge Extension of Tax Cuts for Other 98% of Americans as Senate Vote Nears

Today, July 24, 2012, Eighty-seven of the richest Americans from 49 U.S. cities today sent a letter to Congress saying that it would be unwise and unfair to renew the special Bush tax cuts above $250,000 in household income that disproportionately benefit the wealthiest 2 percent. The Bush tax cuts for the top 2 percent give people who earn over $1 million a year an average tax break of about $150,000, according to the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center.

The letter is timely because tomorrow the Senate is expected to vote on the Middle Class Tax Cut Act (S. 3412). The bill would extend the Bush tax cuts for the 98 percent of Americans for one year, but would end them for household income levels above $250,000 that only benefit the richest 2 percent.

“As individuals who have greatly benefited from the opportunities America has provided, we urge you to support S. 3412, Middle Class Tax Cut Act to extend tax cuts for all Americans on the first $250,000 of their income, while ending the extra tax cuts that go exclusively to the wealthiest 2 percent,” the letter says.

“Those of us who are business owners know that restoring taxes on the portion of our profits over $250,000 to Clinton era rates will have no impact on our decisions about whether to hire additional workers,” the letter adds. “Indeed, only about 3 percent of “small business” owners have more than $250,000 in profits — and those businesses, though they may meet the technical legal definition of ‘small,’ can afford to pay their fair share of taxes like everyone else.”

“Congress faces a choice,” the letter concludes. “It can ask the wealthiest 2 percent to limit ourselves to the tax cuts other Americans get — those on the portions of our incomes under $250,000 — so that it can shrink the deficit while continuing to invest in education, infrastructure, clean energy, health care, and rebuilding a strong middle class. Or it can slash investments vital to our nation’s future in order to be even more generous to those of us who need it the least. That shouldn’t be a hard choice.

Compared to continuing all the Bush tax cuts for a decade, ending them for the richest 2 percent would save nearly $1 trillion (including debt service savings), according to Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation.

“Any successful entrepreneur who says the biggest driver behind their success was desire for a second Ferrari in their mega mansion garage is either kidding you or themselves,” said letter signer Paul Growald, a former director of TechRocks and a trustee for the Rockefeller Family Fund who lives in Burlington, VT. “It's a myth that taxing the super rich discourages entrepreneurs. Should we be rewarded? Of course. But not with the lowest tax rates of any comparable country.”

“My team used hard work, the rule of law and the internet to build a successful business,” said Christopher Findlater, founder of Auto Insurance Shopper, now known as NetQuote.com, the world’s largest insurance shopping site, with our 100 companies and 25 million customers. “I did not build this business myself. My team was wonderful and I include America on my team for funding and creating the Internet. We owe the next generation the opportunities that we had, including an affordable education and inspiring teachers. I try to make that possible and express my gratitude to America, and my fellow American citizens, by giving back. That means paying my fair share of taxes that I can afford to pay because I earned them, here, in America.”

“Extending these exclusive tax breaks for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans is the wrong prescription for our financial future” said Sandy Newman, president of Voices for Progress, which organized the letter and is a coalition member of the Americans for Tax Fairness campaign. “Our members, many of whom are millionaires, think it is irresponsible to give them extra cash they don’t need and mortgage our nation’s future on the backs of the middle class.”

Voices for Progress, a project of The Advocacy Fund, is a non-profit organization formed in 2009 to educate philanthropists, business leaders, state & local elected officials, and other community leaders to enable influential people who are focused on promoting the common good to serve as a counterweight to the millions of dollars in self-interested lobbying that distorts national policy.

July 24, 2012 at 07:00 PM in Economy, Populism, Taxes | Permalink


Wow! This is so true, and so heartening to hear it from these patriotic Americans.

Posted by: Ellen Wedum | Jul 25, 2012 1:27:45 PM

Extending those tax breaks for the rich thus far has done absolutely nothing to improve the economy except for the rich. It has not made this nation prosper for the 99%. It has not kept unemployment at bay. It has not stopped bankruptcy and wealth stripping of the 99%. It has not created jobs with dignified living wages. It has not ensured financial or medical security.
Taxes on the rich have been the lowest in this nation's history and contrary to the dominant theories of trickle down, supply side economics, is undermining this nation. Time for a bit of "austerity" for the very rich.

Posted by: qofdisks | Jul 26, 2012 11:46:46 AM