October 16, 2019

A Message From the Billionaire’s Club: Tax Us

She is part of the Pritzker family, the founders of one of the country’s largest private companies, which included the Hyatt hotel chain. Another family member, Regan Pritzker, president of the San Francisco-based Libra Foundation, also signed.

Members of the billionaire club have previously argued that they should be taxed more. In 2011, Warren E. Buffett, the founder of Berkshire Hathaway, published an essay noting that his effective tax rate was “actually a lower percentage than was paid by any of the other 20 people in our office.” His comments prompted President Barack Obama and others to push for a “Buffett rule” mandating that millionaires pay at least 30 percent of their income in taxes.

In 2014, Nick Hanauer, a Seattle-based entrepreneur, published a memo to “My Fellow Zillionaires” noting that “people like you and me are thriving beyond the dreams of any plutocrats in history, the rest of the country — the 99.99 percent — is lagging far behind.”

He added: “If we don’t do something to fix the glaring inequities in this economy, the pitchforks are going to come for us.”

Mr. Hanauer signed the letter published on Monday, as did Molly Munger, a lawyer whose father is Charlie Munger, vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway. She and her husband, Stephen English, were co-founders of the Advancement Project, a civil rights organization. He also signed the letter.

Other names on the letter were Stephen M. Silberstein, co-founder of the software company Innovative Interfaces; the philanthropist and arts patron Agnes Gund and her daughter Catherine Gund, the founder and director of Aubin Pictures; Arnold S. Hiatt, chairman of the Stride Rite Charitable Foundation; Justin Rosenstein, a co-founder of Asana, which provides work-management tools; Robert S. Bowditch Jr., the founder of MB Associates, a real estate development firm, and his wife, Louise; and Mr. Soros’s son Alexander, deputy chair of the Open Society Foundations.

The final signatory was “Anonymous.”

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/24/business/economy/wealth-tax-letter.html?emc=rss&partner=rss

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