Millionaires Say 'Oh Elizabeth Warren, We Are Rich, Please Eat Us!'
You might think rich people would hate the idea of raising taxes on the rich, but a new "millionaire poll" by CNBC shows that a large chunk of America's rich people are actually just fine with some proposals to increase their own taxes. In fact, 60 percent of the millionaires polled support Elizabeth Warren's Eat The Rich wealth tax proposal, which would impose a two percent tax on wealth over $50 million, and three percent on assets over a billion dollars.
Polls show that a majority of Americans also back a wealth tax. But the support from millionaires, some of whom would presumably pay the tax, shows that some millionaires are willing to accept higher taxes amidst growing concern over inequality and soaring fortunes of the rich.
While 88% of Democrats support the wealth tax, 62% of independents support it along with 36% of Republicans. Even the upper tier of millionaires, those worth more than $5 million, support a wealth tax, with two-thirds in favor.
For that matter, CNBC says, an even larger percentage of respondents were in favor of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's proposal to raise the top marginal income tax rate on families making over $10 million a year, although darned if CNBC provided an actual percentage. Yr Dok Zoom is very put out that CNBC doesn't appear to have a link to the full data anywhere in its package of reporting on the millionaire poll. At least the survey -- conducted in conjunction with an outfit called "Spectrem Group Yes With An E Isn't That Clever" -- appears to have made a pretty good shot at representative sampling:
The survey polled 750 people with investible assets of $1 million or more. Of the respondents, 261 were Republicans, 261 were independent and 218 were Democrats.
Mind you, maybe the support of these millionaires for higher taxes has something to do with it not being a poll of people only with assets over 50 million -- most of the participants may well be ordinary everyday millionaires who wouldn't mind a little class war against the obscenely rich.
The results were celebrated by our favorite group of patriotic millionaires, the Patriotic Millionaires, which has been pushing for policies that would reduce America's wealth and income gaps.
As for the idea -- pushed mostly by Republicans, for some reason -- that we could never ever raise taxes substantially on the super-rich because they'd just take their Maybachs and bank accounts and move to Panama, tech and culture writer Cory Doctorow writes at BoingBoing that he doubts the prospect of any such mass capital flight:
This is a common response to any progressive taxation proposal, and while I've known a few people who cashed out big on startups and effectively went into exile in the Grand Caymans or wherever rather than paying tax, most of them ended up getting terminally bored living in a place full of drunken wastrels and trustafarians and moved back home, paid their tax, and got stuck in doing their Next Thing.
The thing is, says Doctorow, the rich -- or at least the inventive rich, so not the Jared Kushners -- are different from you and me, because they need to keep doing capitalist stuff, and for that, they need to be where capitalist stuff is happening:
If you're a genuinely driven entrepreneur, yacht life is fucking boring and besides, paying 2% annually on the portion of your fortune exceeding $50,000,000 is not going to leave you a pauper. Neither you nor your kids nor their kids would ever have to work again if you managed that sum carefully.
"If you manage that sum carefully" ... and for god's sake what did we say about investing it with Jared Kushner!
Just because Republicans paint themselves as the Party of Money, that doesn't necessarily mean everyone with lots of money -- or even a majority -- is a Republican. We don't expect to see many "Millionaires for Warren" bumper stickers out there, but these survey results certainly give the lie to the notion that the rich are all amoral fuckwads. Many would be just fine with soaking themselves, perhaps thanks to all that time spent in spas.
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Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.