Let’s be honest—most of us hate paying taxes, even if we understand less why we pay them and support the projects that tax money funds, if we’re speaking plainly, most of us will agree that shelling out the cash for our taxes is kind of painful.
However, this week more than 100 members of the uber-rich around the globe have come together to ask governments to up their taxes to help pay for the pandemic response and to diminish the disparity between the rich and poor.
The group consisted of precisely 102 millionaires and billionaires who declared in an open letter that they “know that the current tax system is not fair.”
“Most of us can say that, while the world has gone through an immense amount of suffering in the last two years, we have actually seen our wealth rise during the pandemic,” the letter continues, “yet few if any of us can honestly say that we pay our fair share in taxes.”
The group, who’ve called themselves the “patriotic millionaires,” are asking for “permanent wealth taxes on the richest to help reduce extreme inequality and raise revenue for sustained, long-term increases in public services like healthcare.”
According to the group “restoring trust requires taxing the rich” and its vision is for every country in the world to “demand the rich pay their fair share.” An annual “wealth tax” on those with fortunes of more than $5 million could raise more than a whopping $2.52 trillion. This would be enough, they say, to “lift 2.3 billion people out of poverty; make enough vaccines for the world, and deliver universal healthcare and social protection for all the citizens of low and lower-middle-income countries (3.6 billion people).”
Their proposed tax would require those with fortunes of more than $5 million to pay two percent. This would rise to three percent for those with more than $50 million, and five percent for billionaires.
British entrepreneur and founding member of the Patriotic Millionaires UK says:
“…our government cannot expect to be trusted if it would rather tax working people than wealthy people. If they do anything in the next few months, they should do this: rather than raising national insurance, tax the rich—tax us—instead.”