Several wealthy bankers, investors, and entrepreneurs have called for higher taxes on the rich as an important part of reducing the nation’s deficit, led most prominently by Warren Buffett. “It is mathematically impossible to invest enough in our economy and our country to sustain the middle class (our customers) without taxing the top 1 percent at reasonable levels again,” wrote wealthy entrepreneur Nick Hanauer in an op-ed last week. “Significant tax increases on the about $1.5 trillion in collective income of those of us in the top 1 percent could create hundreds of billions of dollars to invest in our economy, rather than letting it pile up in a few bank accounts like a huge clot in our nation’s economic circulatory system.”
Joining the list of those in financial positions of power that are calling for higher taxes on the rich is Morgan Stanley Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat who, as the Huffington Post’s Bonnie Kavoussi reported, said over the weekend that it’s “inappropriate” that income inequality in the country is continuing to grow while taxes on the rich stay low:
“The wealthiest can afford to pay more in taxes. That’s a part of the deal. That makes sense. I don’t know anyone that doesn’t agree with that,” Porat said. “The wealth disparity between the lowest and the highest continues to expand, and that’s inappropriate.” “We cannot cut our way to greatness,” she added.
The rising compensation of executives and those in the banking industry is one of the major factors driving the nation’s income inequality. And at the same time that the rich have been getting richer, their tax rates have been plummeting. It’s refreshing to hear someone in the banking industry acknowledge these truths and want to rectify them, rather than decrying higher taxes on the rich as akin to the Nazi invasion of Poland.