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America's Super-Rich Favor Wealth Tax

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A group of billionaires have said they are ready to pay more in taxes and urged the 2020 presidential candidates to support a wealth tax on the richest 1 percent of Americans.

In an open letter to the 2020 Presidential candidates that was published on Medium, the billionaires said the next dollar of new tax revenue should come from the most financially fortunate, not from middle-income and lower-income Americans. "On us," they wrote.

"America has a moral, ethical and economic responsibility to tax our wealth more. A wealth tax could help address the climate crisis, improve the economy, improve health outcomes, fairly create opportunity, and strengthen our democratic freedoms," the nineteen signatories said in the letter.

The signatories include investor George Soros, independent filmmaker and heir to the Disney entertainment empire Abigail Disney, Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, and Regan Pritzker, board chair of the Libra Foundation.

"Those of us signing this letter enjoy uncommon fortunes, but each of us wants to live in an America that solves the biggest challenges of our common future," the signatories stated.

The super-rich emphasized that their letter is nonpartisan and written in support of a policy solution, and it is not an endorsement of any presidential candidate.

However, they noted that several presidential candidates, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Beto O'Rourke, Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigeg, have come out in support of a wealth tax.

Under a wealth tax proposal submitted by Warren, the wealthiest households in the U.S. would pay an annual 2 percent tax on every dollar of net worth between $50 million and $1 billion, and a 3 percent tax overall on every dollar of household net worth above $1 billion.

According to Warren, the Ultra-Millionaire Tax taxes the wealth of the richest Americans, or roughly the wealthiest 75,000 U.S. households.

Warren has cited an analysis by economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman from the University of California-Berkeley that estimates the tax on these nearly 75,000 households will generate $2.75 trillion in revenue over a ten-year period.

According to the recent CNBC Millionaire Survey, 60 percent of millionaires have said they support a proposed wealth tax on the richest U.S. households.

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