April 21, 2019

They’re Rich and They’re Mad About Taxes (Too Low!)

They’re Rich and They’re Mad About Taxes (Too Low!)


“I don’t look at it as if there’s now this extra pot of money,” said Mr. Pearl. “The pot of money is just now somewhat larger than it might otherwise have been.”

To drive home his point, Mr. Pearl used an analogy Mr. Schultz might appreciate. “If the Starbucks guy gives you an extra cup of coffee, it’s not like you think, ‘Now I have an extra $3; what am I going to do with it?’” he said.

But others in the group said they would be putting their tax savings to work. John Driscoll, the chief executive of CareCentrix, a health care company, has not done his taxes for 2018 but expects a windfall. With the extra money, Mr. Driscoll said he would double his support for progressive causes and politicians.

“My family is going to give more money to fight issues of hunger, and we’re going to invest more in candidates who don’t put the income of wealthy people ahead of people who need help,” he said. “The unnecessary and fiscally imprudent reduction in the individual tax rate gives me more income to fight the imbalances.”

Roberta Kaplan, a partner at Kaplan Hecker & Fink and a Patriotic Millionaire, recalled that when she was growing up, her father talked about being proud to pay his taxes. “He wasn’t looking for any way to lessen his tax burden,” she said. “It was his way of contributing to our country.”

At first, Ms. Kaplan dismissed the sentiment as naïve. “I remember thinking he was sort of a sucker,” she said. “But I’ve come to appreciate how much wisdom there is in that. People in our country who have done well and who benefit from all the advantages of living in this economy have an obligation to support that system and make it better and fairer.”

While the millionaires of the resistance may up their charitable giving, none said they would be making voluntary contributions to the government. (Which, yes, is a thing some people do.) Americans donated just $775,654.63 to help reduce the national debt last year, down from a high of $7.75 million in 2012.



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