Wealthy Americans, Businesspeople Petition Congress for Higher Taxes

Suzanne Potter | California News Service
The "Build Back Better" proposal would significantly increase subsidies for child care. Photo Credit: Lordn / Adobe Stock

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — CARSON CITY, Nev. — It is not every day people ask for higher taxes, but that’s the gist of a letter just sent to Congress, signed by more than 200 wealthy taxpayers and business owners.

A coalition of progressive groups organized the public letter, which calls on lawmakers to raise taxes on rich people and corporations in order to fund the new infrastructure proposal, details of which were released this week.

Robert Bacon, an attorney from Oakland, said he signed the letter to encourage Congress to make some big investments.

“I’d be willing to pay more in taxes to increase the quality of public education and public transportation, to catch up with deferred maintenance of our public infrastructure,” Bacon stated.

The letter asks Congress to reverse some 2017 Trump-era tax cuts by setting the top marginal tax rate back to where it was four years ago, at 39.6%. Supporters would also like to raise the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%, close loopholes on estate taxes, and start taxing capital gains as ordinary income.

Sandra Fluke, president of the nonprofit Voices for Progress, said the money would help fund President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion infrastructure package, known as Build Back Better.

“Child-care affordability, home- and community-based care, and paid leave, fighting climate change and protecting all of us from natural disasters are good investments,” Fluke asserted. “Investments that will help to rebuild our economy and to strengthen our democracy.”

The letter also calls on Congress to restore full funding to the IRS, which has lost one-third of its employees in enforcement roles in recent years, resulting in close to a 60% drop in the number of audits it performs.