Corporate Leaders, Wealthy Individuals Call for Increased Taxes
Monday, September 20, 2021
RALEIGH, N.C. -- It is not every day people ask for higher taxes, but that is the gist of a letter just sent to Congress, signed by more than 200 wealthy taxpayers and business owners.
Americans earning income from employers are taxed at much higher rates than income earned through investments or business partnerships. The U.S. tax code also allows for a slew of deductions and loopholes that reduce the amount of taxable income for corporations.
Sandra Fluke, president of the nonprofit Voices for Progress, believes taxing the ultra-rich will pay for what she calls a "bold realignment" of the nation's spending priorities.
"Child-care affordability, home- and community-based care, and paid leave, fighting climate change and protecting all of us from natural disasters are good investments," Fluke asserted. "Investments that will help to rebuild our economy and to strengthen our democracy."
The letter asks Congress to set the top marginal tax rate back to where it was four years ago, at 39.6%. However, some experts argued while the proposal would increase taxes on millionaires, it would have little effect on billionaires.
An analysis of tax documents this year by ProPublica found the wealthiest Americans and major corporations, like Amazon and Netflix, legally pay close to zero dollars in taxes. Fluke thinks efforts to reform the system have not gone far enough.
"Things like cutting that top marginal income-tax rate were supposed to improve our economy, and that didn't happen at all," Fluke contended.
She said instead, lawmakers should raise the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%, close loopholes on estate taxes, and start taxing capital gains as ordinary income.
The letter also calls for restoring full funding to the IRS, which has lost one-third of its employees in recent years, resulting in close to a 60% drop in the number of audits it performs.
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