Billionaires Beg Republicans Not to Cut Their Taxes

Rich people to Congress: Raise our taxes, don't cut them.

The GOP plan to reduce income taxes on the super rich “further exacerbates inequality” at a time when the gap between rich and poor is historically wide, said a group of 400 left-leaning CEOs, doctors, lawyers and business owners, all of whom are calling on the Republican Party to drop the proposal.

"The Republican tax plan would disproportionately benefit wealthy individuals and corporations with provisions including repealing the estate tax, repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax, and slashing the top pass-through tax rate," the group, which calls itself Responsible Wealth, wrote in an open letter to Congress.

Notable signers were designer Eileen Fisher, hedge fund manager (and conspiracy theorists’ public enemy number one) George Soros, oil heir Steven Rockefeller, and Ben and Jerry from Ben & Jerry’s.

Different versions of the pending legislation cut taxes at different rates, but all include significant tax savings for the wealthy.

bernie_taxes Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) addresses a rally against the Republican tax plan outside the U.S. Capitol on November 1, 2017. The rally was organized by Patriotic Millionaires, a left-wing group of wealthy people who support political representation for all citizens and believe the rich should shoulder a greater burden of taxes. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Trump administration says the tax cuts are meant to drive investment and spur economic growth.

But the Responsible Wealth group wants the federal government to take a bigger slice of their pie because trickle-down economics doesn’t work.

“I have a big income. If my income gets bigger, I’m not going to invest more. I'll just save more,” Bob Crandall, a former executive at American Airlines and letter signee, told The Washington Post.

The letter also took Republicans to task for trying to repeal or dilute the estate tax. The House version of the tax bill would remove the estate tax entirely; the Senate wants to double the amount of money people can inherit without paying taxes to $11 million.

As noted by the Post, only the richest 5,000 families in America end up paying the estate tax. The Senate tax bill would cut that number more than in half.

“Repealing the estate tax alone would lose an estimated $269 billion over 10 years—more than we would spend on the Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control, and Environmental Protection Agency combined,” the letter read.

The Republican tax overhaul is set for a vote in the House this week. Taxes would go down across the board on average for all groups, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. The rich would get the largest benefit, however. And the United States already has some of the lowest tax rates in the developed world, according to a Pew Research Center report.

 

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