The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Sam Quigley,

Patriotic Millionaires Celebrate American Families Plan's Proposed Tax Hikes on The Rich

"The era of trickle-down nonsense is over—it's time to tax the rich."


Today, the Biden administration released additional details of its American Families Plan in advance of President Biden's address to Congress this evening. This $1.8 trillion plan would tie significant spending on childcare, paid leave, and education with increased taxes on high income earners, higher capital gains taxes, the elimination of the stepped-up basis, and increased funding for IRS enforcement. In response to these new details, Morris Pearl, former managing director at Blackrock, Inc., Chair of the Patriotic Millionaires, and co-author of Tax the Rich!, issued the following statement:

"The tax increases on wealthy individuals in President Biden's American Families Plan are exactly what this country needs. High-income earners, wealthy investors, and millionaire heirs have skated by without paying their fair share for far too long. The tax hikes proposed by President Biden would reverse decades of our tax code prioritizing wealth over work.

It is absurd that money earned from labor, from sweat and hard work, is currently taxed at nearly double the rate as money earned from passive investments. My money should not be given special treatment over someone else's sweat. The Biden plan to raise the capital gains tax rate to match the ordinary income tax rate would correct this fundamental injustice in our tax code, and put everyone, worker and investor alike, on a level playing field.

The stepped-up basis allows the heirs of multi-million-dollar fortunes to avoid paying taxes on vast amounts of accumulated capital gains profits, contributing to the formation of the kind of permanently wealthy, hereditary elite that our Founding Fathers rebelled against. It has no place in our tax code, and the Biden plan to eliminate it should receive widespread support.

While not technically a tax hike, the Biden plan to dramatically increase funding for the IRS to target wealthy tax evaders is incredibly important. Thanks to years of deliberate underfunding of the IRS, wealthy tax cheats have been able to go unpunished, leading to the tax gap, or what is owed to the government in taxes but not paid, to reach over $1 trillion a year.

Each of these tax increases would affect only the wealthiest Americans, a group that has seen their fortunes grow substantially over the last several decades and throughout the pandemic. Wealthy Americans like me can more than afford to pay higher taxes, and we should be expected to. With these plans, the Biden administration is ushering in a new, better vision for what our tax code should look like, one that shrinks inequality instead of contributing to it.

The era of trickle-down nonsense is over--it's time to tax the rich."

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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