More than 400 American millionaires and billionaires have signed a letter urging the Republican-controlled Congress to not cut their taxes, as they believe the proposed tax cuts for the wealthy will cause further national debt and inequality. They say that drastically reducing taxes on the wealthiest families would be an egregious mistake, especially when the national debt is high and economic inequality is at its worst since the 1920s. The current tax plans in Congress would add $1.5 trillion to the national debt to compensate for the tax cuts.
The letter beseeches Congress to not pass any tax bill that “further exacerbates inequality.” In fact, the signers of the letter want Congress to do the opposite of the currently proposed tax cuts for the wealthy – they want higher taxes for themselves.
The group is comprised of doctors, lawyers, CEOs and entrepreneurs, and names such as Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield (Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream founders), fashion designer Eileen Fisher, billionaire George Soros, and philanthropist Steven Rockefeller. They were brought together by Responsible Wealth, a group that advocates for the organization of workers and progressive change.
“I think a tax cut is absurd,” said Robert “Bob” Crandall, a former American Airlines CEO, now retired. He believes that Republican lawmakers are “saying we can’t afford to spend money, but we can afford to give rich people a huge tax break. This makes no sense.”
The White House and Republicans argue that everything in the senate bill is designed to stimulate more investment, from the wealthy, back into the U.S. economy. They say the money that corporations and the rich save on their taxes would likely be used to start new companies or build new factories.
This is the core foundation of trickle-down economics, made popular by President Reagan in the 1980s. It didn’t work 30 years ago, and it has never worked since.
Yet the Trump administration insists it will work this time.
“I don’t believe that we’ve set out to create a tax cut for the wealthy. If someone’s getting a tax cut, I’m not upset that they’re getting a tax cut,” Gary Cohn, the head of Trump’s National Economic Council, said in an interview with CNBC last week. “Everything in our tax system is meant to encourage investment.”
But what is really happening is that President Donald Trump himself is telling Republicans to cut taxes for the rich.
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