Like Ace, I’m increasingly open to this idea. Not because I think it’s sound economics to drop a tax bomb on part of the population during a moment of sluggish economic growth, but because I think nothing will convince Americans that there’s no magic-bullet “kill the rich” solution to the country’s debt catastrophe unless we prove it by letting it happen. So let’s get on with it: Hike those top brackets up to 100 percent — not 39.6 or even 50 — and let’s watch those tens of trillions in unfunded liabilities disappear. Start seizing yachts if you have to. Let the left, the “ideas” movement, have its moment of unbridled resentment-driven class-warfare joy, and then they can explain to the rest of the public why the books still aren’t balanced. Good news, millionaires (and non-millionaires making $250,000 a year or more): You now qualify as super patriots.
The “Patriotic Millionaires” penned a letter to Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and House Speaker John Boehner, urging them to “increase taxes on incomes over $1,000,000.”
The Millionaires—a group that includes producer and director Doug Liman, actress Edie Falco, the founder of Ask.com, and top Google engineers—wrote that the United States has helped them succeed financially, and they are willing to help the country do the same.
“Our country has been good to us. It provided a foundation through which we could succeed,” the group wrote. “Now, we want to do our part to keep that foundation strong so that others can succeed as we have.”
According to Alison Goldberg of the group Wealth for the Common Good, raising tax rates on millionaires could raise $60 billion to $80 billion a year in revenue.
Here’s their website. I’m tempted to laugh at the idea of $80 billion in new revenue putting a dent in a $1.5 trillion annual deficit, but after the GOP asked for significantly less than that in cuts during budget negotiations and ended up with far less still, I’ll decline. Below you’ll find an interview with one of these selfless wealthy patriots from a few months ago; if you happen to be a selfless wealthy patriot yourself and are anguished at the extent of your disposable income, kindly note that the Treasury Department gratefully accepts donations towards paying down the national debt. Don’t let your conscience trouble you. Give.
Exit question: Is it safe to assume that the Patriotic Millionaires also support means-testing for Social Security and Medicare? Or do we not mess with those under any circumstances?