We don’t want billionaires’ charity. We want them to pay their taxes.
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I’ve been reflecting a lot lately on the division of wealth and the gross difference occurring within our country, in particular. I watched a video this morning where Elizabeth Warren was sharing her plan for a 2 cent tax on wealth. I don’t really know how I feel about her plan other than to say I think she would have a hard time getting it passed and, from just a big-picture view, it sounds like it would make a huge difference in our country for many – provided the money was spent where she is proposing it be spent. Don’t get me wrong…I’m not opposed to someone making a lot of money. I’d just like to see fewer legal ways for them to avoid contributing their fair share. This article shares an interesting perspective.
This post first appeared on The Guardian.
Charity is a cold, grey loveless thing. If a rich man wants to help the poor, he should pay his taxes gladly, not dole out money at a whim.” It is a phrase commonly ascribed to Clement Attlee – the credit actually belongs to his biographer, Francis Beckett – but it elegantly sums up the case for progressive taxation. According to a report by the Swiss bank UBS, last year billionaires made more money than any other point in the history of human civilization. Their wealth jumped by a fifth – a staggering $8.9tn – and 179 new billionaires joined an exclusive cabal of 2,158. Some have signed up to Giving Pledge, committing to leaving half their wealth to charity. While the richest man on earth, Jeff Bezos – who has $146bn to his name – has not, he has committed $2bn to tackle homelessness and improving education.