The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Sam Quigley,, 202-446-0489

Patriotic Millionaires Chair Blasts Trump Coronavirus Relief Plan

"A payroll tax cut would give five times more relief to someone making $100,000 a year than someone making $20,000."


Today, as Republican Members of Congress refuse to support a House bill designed to provide relief to those affected by the coronavirus outbreak, and President Trump continues to advocate for corporate tax cuts and payroll tax cuts as the answer to the virus' economic effects, Morris Pearl, the Chair of the Patriotic Millionaires and a former managing director at BlackRock, Inc., released the following statement:

"It is absurd that with millions of Americans at risk of economic devastation as a result of the spreading coronavirus, the Trump administration's answer is the same answer as for all problems: cut taxes for the rich, and close the borders. The shareholders of the hotel, cruise, and airline companies should not get a dime in taxpayer relief until every single low-wage worker in America is taken care of. Even the administration's most progressive proposal, payroll tax relief, is still too regressive and ineffective.

A payroll tax cut would give five times more relief to someone making $100,000 a year than someone making $20,000. For hourly and tipped employees who can't go in to work if they get sick, the most vulnerable population that we should be tailoring any relief efforts specifically to help, a payroll tax cut actually has no impact whatsoever. Payroll tax cuts aren't the answer to the economic damage caused by the spreading coronavirus.

At the very least these workers need immediate paid sick leave, but for them to be able to pay their bills and support their families, they need economic relief more than any other group of Americans. Any form of economic stimulus must do that, and a payroll tax cut is a much less effective way to help them than direct cash payments or expanded unemployment insurance."

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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.

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