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‘Patriotic Millionaires’ Say Their Taxes Are Too Low

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From VOA Learning English, this is the Economics Report in Special English.
Congressional leaders and the Obama administration have begun budget negotiations. They are trying to avoid what is being called “the fiscal cliff,” a combination of tax increases and budget cuts that many experts worry could harm the economy.
However, a group of rich Americans has formed to try to influence those negotiations. More than twenty of them travelled to Washington recently to call on lawmakers to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans.
The group calls itself “Patriotic Millionaires.” Members of the group have incomes of at least one million dollars a year. Their message is simple: “tax us more -- we can take it.”
They are worried about the growing gap between the upper- and middle-classes in the United States.
The group supports President Obama’s plan to raise taxes on rich Americans as part of a budget agreement to avoid the “fiscal cliff.” If an agreement is not reached by the end of this year, taxes will go up for most Americans, and federal spending will go down sharply. President Obama says the country can avoid that if Republicans agree to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans.
“When it comes to the top two percent, what I’m not going to do is to extend further a tax cut for folks who don’t need it, which would cost close to a trillion dollars.”
But the Speaker of the House of Representatives -- John Boehner, a Republican -- says taxes for wealthy Americans do not have to go up.  
“I have outlined a framework for how both parties can work together to avert the fiscal cliff without raising tax rates.”
The Patriotic Millionaires believe their taxes need to be raised. They also do not agree with the idea that increasing taxes on those who create jobs means fewer jobs will be created. T.J. Zlotnitsky is the head of iControl Systems, a data management company.
“When I make a decision about whether or not I’m going to hire people to help grow my business, I make those decisions strictly on the basis of whether the company needs them, whether the customers demand them, whether doing so would grow the business. In terms of my own personal tax rates, that never factors in.”
The group says increasing taxes on middle-class Americans -- but not on rich Americans -- would be bad for the economy. Frank Patitucci is the chief of NuCompass Mobility.
“It is especially important about the middle class. If you lose the middle class, you’re losing customers. So a strong middle class that’s helped by a fair tax system leads to long-term to a healthy economy.”
Patriotic Millionaires has more than two hundred members across the country. Members of the group work in finance, entertainment, technology and other areas.
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Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
by: Anonymous
12/06/2012 7:47 AM
I don't know Patriotic Millionaires have good mind for poor people

by: LIN from: Cambodia
12/05/2012 12:21 PM
my idea some of millionaire think about they business selfish interest and they country and some millionaire never love and think about their country.

by: FRANCO DEVI from: ROME Italy
12/04/2012 4:28 PM
OBAMA is a GREAT MAN, as well as great is the country where he was born: the AMERICA.

by: Yang from: Canada
12/04/2012 3:15 PM
I support Mr.Obama's plan to increase the richers' tax,for the middle class,the reason they earn more money than lower-class is they work harder,if we add their tax burden,in the long -run no body would like to work hard.However,for the wealthier people,they usually have more chance to earn money than the other two classes.

by: Donatas from: Russia
12/04/2012 7:39 AM
I believe it really doesn't matter what these reach folks says in this case. The important point is what they are suppose to do. And that is to pay more taxes. Let them to say everything)

by: Shelley from: PA
12/04/2012 4:40 AM
By calling themselves "Patriotic Millionaires", the members imply that those that disagree with them are unpatriotic. They infer that no moral rich person should object to paying more taxes. Note that they have only 200 members, when there are over 8 million households in the US with a net worth of a million or more. The members fail to mention why they do not go ahead and pay extra taxes, instead of trying to force their will on others. Perhaps it would be more effective to lead by example. There are 3 ways they can pay more: 1)Simply don't take any deductions off of their tax return; 2) go to and make a contribution to the national debt; and 3) donate directly to the U.S. Treasury by writing a check. Maybe they would do it if the donation were tax- deductible.

The Millionaires fail to mention Obama's definition of "rich" includes people making $250 K. My family just barely meets that threshold during some years, and we have two kids to put through college, so we would like to keep the money we work hard for, just as much as the next guy. Why does the government have more of a right to our money than the next guy? We're already paying more. Why should my family have to sacrifice a larger percentage than anyone else? We have worked hard for over 30 years. Why should we pay more to fund those who are not willing to work and just want a free ride? Why should we give more money to a government that is financially irresponsible? Obama says we have enough, and he needs more.

How much is enough for the government? Don't you see that it will never be enough as long as liberals are in control? Obama demands more money at the same time he proposes spending another $800B. The man and his cronies, like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are insatiable. Their policies form a huge black hole in Washington that is sucking all the hard-earned money from hard-working Americans, and it will continue to spin out of control until the country implodes. Americans, please wake up and realize that, if you support a tax increase on anyone, you're next in line. The tax increase on the 2% will only run the government for 8 days. Who do you think they will come after next? THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS NO RIGHT TO RAISE TAXES UNTIL THEY DRASTICALLY CUT SPENDING.

by: Rick from: Italy
12/02/2012 5:30 PM
Patriotic millionarie are afraid to lose much more customers than money in taxes increase. For them, to preserve market share is much more important than an increase of taxes. This matter show us the real question. Capitalism and consumerism is strong linked with middle class and survive with it. Market speculation destroy middle class and small businesses. Capitalism and consumerism enriched all people of the western world in the years. Only a big country with the biggest economy as Usa can stop this poor globalization and start a good globalization.

by: kim vo from: florida
12/02/2012 1:44 PM
I think it time to talk straight now Obama is the president of the United State so he is not belong any party . Now he works for Americans . Every things for Americans.

In Response

by: Shelley from: PA
12/04/2012 5:12 AM
Dear Kim,
Unfortunately, President Obama's actions continue to be very political. Rather than working for all Americans, he is trying to take more money from job-creators in order to give it away to those who supported him, such as unions and entitlement- recipients. He also wants more "stimulus" money ,which he says he will use for "infrastructure". Last time he gave our tax dollars to companies like GE and Solyndra, both Democrat allies, and we lost money because of it.

by: kim vo from: florida
12/02/2012 12:52 PM
In my opinion , John Boehner does not love his country , he just love himself because maybe he make too much money and he does not want to give it back when his country needs it.

In Response

by: Shelley from: PA
12/04/2012 4:49 AM
Dear Kim Vo,
John Boehner loves his country; he just believes that it is not the country's money to start with. The government does not give people money; we earn it, so we are not giving it "back". I imagine if you compare Boehner's charitable contributions to Obama's, you would see Boehner is a more giving man. It is a fact that Obama is a lot less generous with his money than either of his Republican opponents, McCain or Romney.

The country does not need more money; it needs to stop spending so much.

by: Tax reduction
12/01/2012 8:01 PM
i support Oba's plan, although i don't like him to be US president.

Comments page of 2