Recent statements from several billionaires make it clear that these guys live in different reality. And when one gets a conscience, others seem to rail them in quickly.
Recently, Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) introduced a new estate tax bill called the For The 99.8% Act. The bill, in direct opposition to an earlier bill introduced by Senator John Thune (R-SD) this week, calls for a stronger and more graduated estate tax, with a top tax rate of 77% on estates over $1 billion. Clearly, one side of the aisle is listening to what the American people want, while the other side of the aisle is still listening to their donor class. Now, America's billionaire class needs to pick a side.
In response to this bill, Morris Pearl, former managing director at BlackRock, Inc., and Chair of the Patriotic Millionaires issued the following remarks:
"Rather than being content with the enormous slice of pie they have already been given, America’s billionaires are trying to keep the entire pie for themselves and their offspring. Their gluttony - and the political manipulation they employ to feed it - is ripping our country apart. Voters tried to change that at the ballot box. If that doesn't work, they are going to stop putting up with the billionaires altogether and do something more drastic. That is going to end poorly for billionaires who have been enjoying the good life, and for most of the rest of us as well.
We call ourselves the Patriotic Millionaires for a reason - because our country is more important to us than our money. The question is do any of America’s billionaires care more about the nation than their pocketbooks. If they do, they will support this legislation."
This legislation would lower the current exemption to $3.5 million of an individual's estate, impacting only the wealthiest 0.2% of Americans. It would also introduce a progressive, marginal tax rate structure to the estate tax, with the highest tax rate being 77% of the value of estates over $1 billion. In addition, the bill would close loopholes in the estate and gift tax, including the ability to claim the value of an inherited asset is lower for estate tax purposes than what is claimed for income tax purposes. Protections for family farms are also included, as the bill allows family farmers to lower the value of their farmland by up to $3 million for estate tax purposes.
So who are these Patriotic Millionaires?
They say they are the,
Proud “traitors to their class,” members of the Patriotic Millionaires are high-net-worth Americans, business leaders, and investors who are united in their concern about the destabilizing concentration of wealth and power in America. The mission of The Patriotic Millionaires organization is to build a more 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
The Patriotic Millionaires have appeared on hundreds of media outlets here and abroad, including The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, the PBS NewsHour, The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and many others. You can find more coverage at
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