In West Virginia, funding the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill with a billionaire’s income tax increases support from even (48% in favor, 47% oppose) to 2-1 in favor (65% in favor, 29% opposed)—a bipartisan supermajority. In Arizona, likely voters support the reconciliation bill when funded by a billionaire income tax by a 39-point margin (67% in favor, 28% opposed). These states are home to Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, respectively, whose votes will be needed to pass any final agreement.
It’s popular, powerful politics for a simple reason: higher taxes on the ultra-wealthy can pay for urgent, shared needs without overburdening anyone. Fewer than 1,000 Americans would pay a billionaire’s income tax. Only one-twentieth of the richest 1% would pay the annual tax on fortunes over $50 million. Taxes like these on billionaires and ultra-millionaires wouldn’t damage their quality of life—it certainly wouldn’t hurt ours—and no one who wasn’t already an ultra-millionaire would pay a cent under either policy.
Taxing America’s wealthiest citizens is productive and patriotic, not punitive. Improved roads and railways, safer neighborhoods and high-quality schools in every zip code boost economic freedom and allow working people to build wealth of their own. . . .
All our wealth, in one way or another, is built on investments our country has already made. Additional investments will empower more Americans to compete in the global economy . . .
Voters across the political spectrum view a system that asks Americans with massive fortunes to contribute so little to America’s future as fundamentally broken. They are right. Our estate attorneys might not thank us for pointing that out—but our grandchildren will.
Amen, Liesel and Ian.
Quote of the Day
It turns out that advancing equal opportunity and economic empowerment is both morally right and good economics, because discrimination, poverty and ignorance restrict growth, while investments in education, infrastructure and scientific and technological research increase it, creating more good jobs and new wealth for all of us.~Bill Clinton
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