During this “tax season” some wealthy people are advocating to increasetheir own taxes. A growing network of high-income individuals and business people are calling on Congress and the President to say, “Let my tax cut go!”
This dialogue was the focus of a Wealth for the Common Good event hosted by North Star Fund on April 7th, Leveraging Privilege: Transforming the Debate about Taxes & Philanthropy. Eric Schoenberg, a former investment banker and Columbia Business School professor made the case for why high-income individuals, like himself, have a responsibility to help reframe the debate on taxes that far too frequently ends with “no new taxes for the rich.” Vanity Fair blogger and filmmaker Jamie Johnson reflected on the growing wealth divide, which was the focus of his documentary The One Percent.
With the Bush-era tax cuts for high-income households set to expire at the end of this year – but plenty of Republicans and even some Democrats trying to extend these cuts – now is a particularly important time for all of us to speak up for fairness in our tax system. During the past 50 years, our tax code has become unbalanced, shifting the responsibility for raising revenue from wealthy people to everyone else. American’s wealthiest taxpayers have seen their tax rate drop enormously, while the share of income that middle class Americans pay has increased slightly. These policies are exacerbating the wealth divide.
Progressive tax reform needs to be an integral part of ongoing work for economic justice:
- Sign the petition to allow the tax cuts for high-income households to expire.
- Tax Day has come and gone, but the debate continues! Read the Institute for Policy Studies Tax Day Talking Points and join the public conversation. Then call your local talk show. Debate your neighbor. Write an op-ed.
- Check out the report, Shifting Responsibility: How 50 Years of Tax Cuts Benefited the Wealthiest Americans. It includes key facts and statistics about the Great Tax Shift of the past half-century.
Alison Goldberg coordinates Wealth for the Common Good. She was the Donor Education Coordinator at Resource Generation, and co-authored Creating Change Through Family Philanthropy: The Next Generation.