Washington, DC - In this evening’s State of the Union address, President Joe Biden laid out an economic vision for the United States that offers every American a fair shot at success, and a vision for a tax code that rewards work, not wealth.
In response, Morris Pearl, the Chair of the Patriotic Millionaires and a former managing director at BlackRock, Inc., released the following statement:
“A tax code that takes less of the money I make from my wealth than the money that Americans work hard to earn is a tax code that is fundamentally broken. I and many of my fellow millionaires agree - we should be paying higher taxes. We’re proud capitalists just like President Biden, but we think it is absurd that the ultra-rich often end up with lower tax rates than middle-class Americans. We can afford to pay more, and we should be expected to.
“President Biden’s Billionaire Minimum Income Tax would be a significant step in the right direction. I am the head of a group of millionaires – I think it’s great for people to be rich. But I also think that those of us who have the good fortune to be the winners in our society should pay at least the same tax rates as those who work for a living. Most Americans have taxes deducted from their paychecks every single week, and a 20% minimum tax is lower than the top tax rate for a single person earning $45,000 of income. Billionaires can clearly afford to pay this much, and they should be required to.
“We also back the President’s call to increase the Inflation Reduction Act’s tax on stock buybacks. Stock buybacks represent everything that’s wrong with our economy. Corporations earn billions in profits, pay almost no taxes, and then instead of reinvesting them or paying their employees more, they use that money to make their already-rich investors and executives even richer. Executives will often even strip their company of assets or take on debt to pay for stock buybacks, sabotaging their company’s future in exchange for short-term gain.
“This short-sighted pattern is only getting worse, as more and more companies buy back their stock. Meta just authorized $40 billion in stock buybacks less than three months after laying off thousands of workers, and in January alone, American corporations authorized a record $132 billion in stock buybacks, more than triple what we saw a year ago. Something has to change, and Biden’s plan to quadruple the tax on stock buybacks is a good start.”
About the Patriotic Millionaires
Members of the Patriotic Millionaires are high-net worth Americans, business leaders, and investors who are united in their concern about historic levels of inequality and the destabilizing concentration of wealth and power in America. The mission of The Patriotic Millionaires organization is to build a stable, prosperous, and inclusive nation by promoting public policies based on the “first principles” of equal political representation, a guaranteed living wage for all working citizens, and a fair tax system. You can find out more at http://patrioticmillionaires.org/about/