Rich petitioners call for end of Bush-era tax cuts
Upper-income earners who actually want to pay higher taxes have launched a public campaign calling for an immediate rollback of the tax cuts enacted under President George W. Bush.
The group, which calls itself Wealth for the Common Good, believes that people who have taxable income of more than $235,000 a year should support restoring their top federal income tax rate to 39.6 percent from 35 percent – and now, not in 2011, when the higher rate is scheduled to return anyway.
From their Web site:
“Our country is facing the worst economic challenge since the Great Depression and an urgent need to make a long overdue investment in bringing jobs and stability back to our communities. This investment should be paid for, in part, by repealing the Bush-era tax cuts our country cannot afford.
“Those of us with taxable incomes over $235,000 benefited from the upside of the economy during the last decade and profited for eight years from a 2001 tax cut. Now is the time to give back.
“We would see a minimal tax increase – from 35 (percent) to 39.6 (percent), a rate still far lower than the one under President (Ronald) Reagan – but the increased revenue would raise an estimated $43 billion per year.”
The group’s founders include Chuck Collins, who inherited some of the Oscar Mayer meat fortune and who has long been involved in agitating on income-inequality issues. He may be best known for co-writing the 2003 book “Wealth and Our Commonwealth: Why America Should Tax Accumulated Fortunes” with Bill Gates Sr. The book made the case for retaining the federal estate tax.
Wealth for the Common Good on Tuesday sent its request, including a petition with more than 1,000 signatures, to President Barack Obama and to House and Senate leaders.
Getting 1,000 Americans to sign a letter demanding higher tax rates on the well-heeled isn’t exactly a stunning feat. Wealth for the Common Good says 200 of the signatories actually earn more than $235,000, although it concedes it can’t independently verify that.
“We trust them, and we trust that they don’t have a lot of incentive to misrepresent their income level,” a spokeswoman said.