As the Senate and House make final tweaks to their tax proposals, over 400 of the nation's very rich individuals have penned a letter to the lawmakers with a demand that stands in stark contrast to the plans on the table: don't cut our taxes—raise them.
The letter, organized by Responsible Wealth—a network that describes itself as "beneficiaries of economic policies tilted in their favor"—urges the members of Congress "to oppose any legislation that further exacerbates inequality," and notes that the GOP proposal "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."
"It is neither wise nor just to give wealthy people more tax breaks at the expense of working families, and it would be especially egregious to fund tax cuts for the wealthy by cutting or dismantling programs that help people meet fundamental human needs like healthcare or nutrition assistance," they write.
According to the Washington Post, most of the the signatories, which include Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, billionaire hedge fund manager George Soros, and philanthropist Steven Rockefeller, "come from California, New York, and Massachusetts, states that went for Democrat Hillary Clinton in the last election."
Responsible Wealth joined with the Washington, D.C.-based group Voices for Progress in organizing the letter, which according to the Post, will be sent this week. The groups are also asking others who are in the top 5 percent to add their names to the letter.
House Republicans could pass their version this week while the Senate finance committee is still marking up that chamber's version.
They have some differences, but both versions, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, "would drive up deficits by $1.5 trillion over the next decade and give very large tax cuts to the wealthiest households and profitable corporations but only token help to millions of low-income working families."