The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Mazher Ali, 617-423-2148 x101,

Responsible Wealth Members Vigorously Reject Obama-GOP Tax Cuts Deal; Demand Strong Estate Tax

Applauds House Democrats for Their Commitment to Strengthening the Plan


Wealth, a nationwide network of more than 700 business leaders and high
wealth individuals, vigorously rejects President Obama's bargain with
the Republican leadership on taxes announced Monday and applauds House
Democrats for their commitment to improve the tax provisions in the
deal. Mike Lapham, Responsible Wealth's project director, issued the
following statement on Friday:

Wealth members recognize that in times of crisis, people at all
economic levels need to pull together and share in the sacrifice. Our
members oppose the Obama-GOP deal because massive tax breaks for
multimillionaires and billionaires are fiscally irresponsible, won't
help stimulate the economy, and instead will pull us further apart.
got into this economic mess largely by giving huge tax breaks to the
wealthy for the past 10 years. Now the GOP insists that the very same
strategy will get us out of the mess. It makes no sense at all.
If tax cuts for the rich resulted in job creation, we wouldn't be where
we are today. For the GOP, tax cuts for the wealthy are the
prescription for every illness. To the contrary, the tax cuts themselves are part of the disease the nation is suffering from.
Wealth members, who are all among the top 5% of earners and wealth
holders, particularly oppose the estate tax portion of this deal. Rather
than reinstating the 2009 estate tax levels, as most observers
expected, Obama's deal actually reduces the rate to 35% and raises the
deduction to $5 million for the next two years. It is obscene and
unnecessary, and it benefits no one but a handful of heirs of rich
parents. The estate tax is reason enough to reject the deal.
applaud the commitment by Speaker Pelosi and the House Democrats to
reject the tax provisions and work toward a bill that helps working
families, limits tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires, and is
fiscally sound. They understand that the loss in revenue from these tax
breaks will be used to justify cutbacks that will hurt everyday people -
schools, health care and other programs will end up being cut.
Republican experiment has failed, repeatedly. There is no excuse for
giving it another two years, even in good economic times, which these
certainly are not."
Wealth member Jerry Fiddler, founder of Wind River Systems, and
currently CEO of Zygote Ventures, added, "The Obama proposal gives away
far too much on both top-bracket income tax rates and the estate tax. As
a business owner, I resent being used as a poster child for weakening
the estate tax or extending top tier tax rates. No business owner that I
know of, myself included, makes business decisions based on paying
estate tax. I'm proud and happy to pay the estate tax."
Responsible Wealth,
a project of the non-profit United for a Fair Economy, is a network of
over 700 wealthy and upper-income business leaders, investors and
inheritors who use their unique voices to advocate for progressive state
and federal taxation and greater corporate accountability.
Mike Lapham and other Responsible Wealth members are available for interviews upon request.

United for a Fair Economy challenges the concentration of wealth and power that corrupts democracy, deepens the racial divide and tears communities apart. We use popular economics education, trainings, and creative communications to support social movements working for a resilient, sustainable and equitable economy. United for a Fair Economy believes another world is possible. We envision a global society which respects the humanity, rights, and creativity of all people.