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NPR’s Marketplace: Wealthy to Congress, more taxes please

Broadcast 29 July 2009. Linked from Marketplace at American Public Radio.
Listen to the segment.

Bill Radke: Have you ever looked at the taxes that get withheld from your paycheck and thought: “I wish Uncle Sam would take more money?” Me neither. But a group of nearly 200 ultra-wealthy Americans has banded together to say just that. Marketplace’s Stacey Vanek-Smith reports.


Stacey Vanek-Smith: The group’s called Wealth for the Common Good. It includes former executives from Starbucks and Microsoft, and it’s delivering a petition to President Obama and Congress today asking lawmakers to roll back Bush era tax cuts for Americans making more than $250,000 a year.

Chuck Collins is one of group’s the co-founders:

Chuck Collins: We’re saying we’re ready to reinvest. We want a first-rate education system. We want a health care system where our neighbors don’t walk around without health insurance. So it’s really in our self interest.

David Cay Johnston teaches tax law at Syracuse University. He says rich Americans are likely to bear more of the tax burden in years to come now that the government is hurting for money and the national debt is ballooning.

David Cay Johnston: We need to develop a society in which how much we levy in taxes matches up to how much we are spending on government services.

The Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy expire in 2011. But Wealth for the Common Good points out that Uncle Sam would get an extra $43 billion if it scrapped the cuts now.

I’m Stacey Vanek-Smith for Marketplace.