Pramila Jayapal: ‘The Rich Want To Be Taxed’

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At the World Economic Forum’s recent online meeting, 100 millionaires and billionaires made a strange plea for additional taxes on the rich. On these grounds, progressive Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) concluded that wealthy Americans are asking for higher taxes.

“Working people want to tax the rich — and it turns out that the rich want to be taxed too,” Jayapal tweeted on Wednesday, citing a Yahoo News article about the millionaires’ proposal. “Let’s get this done, level the playing field, and make life-changing investments into our communities.”

The millionaires’ request, addressed to other wealthy individuals, said:

As millionaires, we 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 — yet few if any of us can honestly say that we pay our fair share in taxes.

This injustice baked into the foundation of the international tax system has created a colossal lack of trust between the people of the world and the elites who are the architects of this system. Bridging that divide is going to take more than billionaire vanity projects or piecemeal philanthropic gestures — it’s going to take a complete overhaul of a system that up until now has been deliberately designed to make the rich richer.

The 102 signees represented 0.00045% of the millionaires in the United States and 0.00018% of the millionaires in the world. Among the signees were Disney heirs Abigail Disney and Tim Disney.

At the end of last year, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk paid $11 billion in taxes — the most of any individual in American history. In response, Jayapal argued that he was nevertheless failing to fork over his “fair share.”

“Elon Musk made $36 BILLION in one day, but wants to brag about paying an $11 billion tax bill,” Jayapal said on Twitter. “Oh yeah, he also added more than $270 BILLION in wealth just since the pandemic started. Time for the rich to pay their fair share.”

Days earlier, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) — another leading progressive — slammed Musk for “freeloading off everyone else” and benefiting from “the rigged tax code.” Musk responded to Warren: “And if you opened your eyes for 2 seconds, you would realize I will pay more taxes than any American in history this year.”

More recently, Musk launched a campaign to raise concerns to California lawmakers for suggesting a “bizarre” new solar tax. Indeed, the California Public Utilities Commission’s proposal would “evolve decarbonization incentive efforts to meet the state’s groundbreaking clean energy goals” by creating a “grid participation charge” of $8 per kilowatt for residential solar panel users.

In response, Tesla — which has a business unit that installs at-home solar panels — started a website through which residents can complain to Governor Gavin Newsom (D-CA).

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