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Support Grows Among Wealthy for Higher Taxes on High Earners

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Friday, September 17, 2021   

CHICAGO - More than 200 high-net-worth individuals signed a letter this week urging Congress to move forward on the $3.5 trillion budget bill - even though it includes tax-code changes that would cost them more money.

To fund the budget plan, President Joe Biden wants to raise the income-tax rate for folks making more than $400,000 a year. The plan also would tax capital gains as income for people making more than $1 million a year, raise the corporate tax rate, close loopholes and strengthen IRS enforcement.

"Each of these proposals is to make sure that we have a fair tax system, in which those who have the most and are benefiting the most are asked to pay the most as well," said Sandra Fluke, president of Voices for Progress, the lead organizer behind the letter.

One Chicagoan signed the letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

A recent poll showed that Americans overwhelmingly support raising taxes on the wealthy instead of borrowing and increasing the national debt. Opponents include Republicans and business groups who say it could harm post-pandemic economic recovery.

Fluke said the Trump administration's tax cuts in 2017 has hampered the nation's revenue collection, and his gutting of the IRS to one-third of its previous size limits its ability to enforce tax policy. She said all that affects our ability to fund today's big priorities.

"And we only have to look out of our window to see what is happening in terms of the severe weather being caused by climate change," she said. "So, we gotta make those investments and not be giving away tax cuts to corporations that are actually lower than what they even asked for."

In her view, getting corporations and the highest-income Americans to pay higher tax rates is an opportunity to invest in child care, long-term care, health care and more.


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