The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Fiona McCarthy,, 202-446-0489

Democratic Hopefuls in Presidential Debate Must Answer How They Plan to Close "Unconscionable Gap" Between Rich and Poor

"A policy page on a campaign website is not enough."


As 20 of the Democratic presidential candidates prepare to take the stage for the first of many debates tonight and tomorrow in Miami, Florida, the gap between the haves and have-nots in the American economy continues to widen. Ahead of these critical national forums for advancing political dialogue, former Managing Director of Blackrock, Inc. and Patriotic Millionaires Chairperson Morris Pearl issued the following statement:

"Economic inequality is out of control in this country, and the American people deserve to be represented by leaders who have the courage to acknowledge it for the crisis it is. During the Democratic debates, presidential candidates have a unique opportunity to show that no Americans should want to live in a country with a few rich people and lots of people without the resources to participate in the civic and economic life of our nation. It's imperative that they use their platform to show why an equal country is in the best interest of everyone, rich and poor alike.

Supporting higher taxes on the rich is the easiest, most effective way of doing this. Many candidates have released policy proposals to that extent, but a policy page on a campaign website is not enough. Candidates that are truly dedicated to building an economy that works for all Americans must use their speaking time, however limited, to focus on the economic challenges facing working Americans, and what they would do to close the unconscionable gap that exists between the rich and poor in this country."

For further comments or questions, please contact Fiona McCarthy at

The Patriotic Millionaires is a group of high-net worth Americans who share a profound concern about the destabilizing level of inequality in America. Our work centers on the two things that matter most in a capitalist democracy: power and money. Our goal is to ensure that the country's political economy is structured to meet the needs of regular Americans, rather than just millionaires. We focus on three "first" principles: a highly progressive tax system, a livable minimum wage, and equal political representation for all citizens.

(202) 446-0489