The high-powered, high-wealth members of The 1% are, for the most part, no strangers to philanthropy. Some have joined the likes of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett in pledging to leave at least half of their fortunes to charity (perhaps much to their children's dismay), while plenty sit on boards of hospitals and museums. Giving away money for a cause feels good, of course, but the promise of a fun little tax write-off certainly helps to soften the blow.
However, a new wealth-spreading initiative calls for quite the opposite of a tax break for the nation's richest, and, surprisingly enough, it's the billionaires themselves who are advocating for it.
With the 2020 election on the horizon, 19 of the wealthiest people in America, including George Soros, Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, and heiress Abigail Disney (yes, that Disney) have signed an open letter to lawmakers and candidates urging them to raise taxes on the super rich. Though it claims to be a nonpartisan request, the letter does highlight Elizabeth Warren's suggested plan, which would tax the 75,000 richest families in America, with $50 million or more, at a 2% rate. The moderate wealth tax, they claim, will generate $3 trillion to be invested back into the country within 10 years, creating revenue that could be used to fight climate change, support universal child care, and relieve student loan debt.
"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," it reads. And that's probably a better endowment than a new wing at an Ivy League.
Read the full letter below: