Activists march with a "Tax the Rich" sign

Protestors march across the Brooklyn Bridge demanding higher taxes on the rich on March 5, 2021 in New York City. (Photo: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)

Megarich Democratic Donor Says 'Tax Rich People Like Me' or He's Done With the Party

To "Democrats in Congress who know me and ask me for money continually," he says: "Pass the Biden infrastructure plan or never ask again. Ever."

Amid ongoing negotiations over how wealth will be taxed to fund the proposed safety net and climate package known as the Build Back Better Act, one superrich Democratic donor suggested he's ready to stop writing checks to the party unless it passes the legislation with a $3.5 trillion price tag--not less--and with the proposed tax increases on the wealthy and corporations.

The proposed tax hikes, tech entrepreneur and venture capitalist Nick Hanauer wrote in an essay published Monday at The New Republic, offer common-sense benefits.

Instead of allowing the cash to be "hoarded" by "zillionaires" like himself, Hanauer argued that the tax increases could "create the foundation for broad-based prosperity," including through the extension of free public education, "meaningfully" tackling the climate emergency, and paid family and medical leave.

Recent evidence of the failure of so-called trickle-down economics is clear, Hanauer wrote, citing as one example Republicans' 2017 tax cuts, when "corporations chose to enrich their own executives and shareholders" rather than investing in their employees.

Without naming any specific lawmaker, Hanauer went on to accuse Democrats who are pushing for a lower price tag on the reconciliation bill or are resisting bigger taxes on the rich of "sabotaging an economy that will deliver broad-based prosperity for years to come."

Referencing a tweet he fired off Friday, Hanauer added that if Democrats don't act quickly to fully pass both the Senate-approved bipartisan infrastructure bill as well as the Build Back Better reconciliation package, "they'd better lose my phone number and stop calling for donations."

Hanauer's endorsement of taxing wealth at higher levels is far from unique, with groups like the Patriotic Millionaires backing the approach as well.

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