Taxes. They’re a part of our civic (and legal) responsibility as U.S. citizens. No one particularly likes them and I think it’s safe to say that most people don’t actually want to pay higher taxes. Even people with excess wealth hire professionals to help minimize their tax burden to the government.
However, there is a growing movement among millionaires who are actively lobbying the government to tax them at a higher rate — for the greater good.
A group of 83 millionaires from seven countries has come together to write and sign an open letter to their respective governments that contains an unusual request: for their governments to levy a permanent tax on their assets in order to help ease the burden of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Today, we, the undersigned millionaires, ask our governments to raise taxes on people like us. Immediately. Substantially. Permanently,” reads the letter, which is posted online at Millionaires for Humanity.
Millionaires for Humanity is a united project by a collection of international groups such as Oxfam International, Patriotic Millionaires and Tax Justice UK to help bring awareness and action toward income and tax equity around the world. This call to action comes on the heels of a recent study that showed that seven of the world’s 50 richest people saw their net worth rise by more than 50% from March 18 through June 4.
Some of the people who signed this open letter include Mary Ford, Abigail Disney (the granddaughter of Roy O. Disney) and Jerry Greenfield (of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream).
The open letter addresses the impact the virus has had on its citizens and health care systems.
“The impact of this crisis will last for decades,” the letter continues. “It could push half a billion more people into poverty. Hundreds of millions of people will lose their jobs as businesses close, some permanently. Already, there are nearly a billion children out of school, many with no access to the resources they need to continue their learning. And of course, the absence of hospital beds, protective masks, and ventilators is a painful, daily reminder of the inadequate investment made in public health systems across the world.”
The signers also write that they “owe a huge debut” to the health care workers and essential workers who have continued to show up to support their communities despite the risks to themselves.
“They confront the deadly virus each day at work while bearing the majority of responsibility for unpaid work at home,” reads the letter. “The risks these brave people willingly embrace every day in order to care for the rest of us require us to establish a new, real commitment to each other and to what really matters.”
What do you think of this unconventional request?
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