Forty-seven millionaires pulled together by the Agenda Project are asking Barack Obama to allow the expiration of tax cuts George W. Bush gave them and anyone earning more than $1 million a year. Their web site, Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength, includes the following letter and a place where other millionaires can sign:
|We are writing to urge you to stand firm against those who would put politics ahead of their country.
For the fiscal health of our nation and the well-being of our fellow citizens, we ask that you allow tax cuts on incomes over $1,000,000 to expire at the end of this year as scheduled.
We make this request as loyal citizens who now or in the past earned an income of $1,000,000 per year or more.
We have done very well over the last several years. Now, during our nation’s moment of need, we are eager to do our fair share. We don’t need more tax cuts, and we understand that cutting our taxes will increase the deficit and the debt burden carried by other taxpayers. The country needs to meet its financial obligations in a just and responsible way.
Letting tax cuts for incomes over $1,000,000 expire, is an important step in that direction.
Among the 47: Rob Lipp, a senior partner at Brysam Global Partners and previously on the board of JP Morgan Chase who helped that firm acquire Bear Stearns in 2008. Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream. Peter Norvig, director of research at Google, Inc. Gail Furman, a psychologist who has been a major donor to the Tides Foundation and Media Matters. Sybil Shainwald, an attorney who is a major litigator on women's health issues. George Zimmer, CEO and founder of Men's Wearhouse.
Forty-seven. It's a start - around 1/100th of a percent of the total number of Americans whose income was $1 million or more last year.
As Joe Conason at Salon notes, the millionaires' announcement appeared the same day as a study by the Center for Responsive Politics showing that 261 Senators and Representatives in Congress are millionaires, nearly half the total membership.
How many of them do you suppose are patriotic enough to sign that letter to the President?
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At Daily Kos on this date in 2008:
|The auto industry is desperate to get another $25 billion in funding, and it's likely that they'll get it -- though not until the GOP has a go at being the party that killed GM. As we limp toward the well-nigh inevitable bailout, there are some demands on the table. ...
But while they're working out what to ask of Detroit, there's one very simple thing that should be at the top of the list. Stop blocking the states that are trying to do the right thing.
Under the federal Clean Air Act, California is entitled to set more stringent pollution regulations on motor vehicles than the federal Environmental Protection Agency so long as California receives a waiver from EPA. Yet the U.S. automobile industry has prevailed upon the Bush EPA to deny California a Clean Air Act waiver in a decision that was contradicted by the analysis of the EPA's own staff.
For decades, the America auto industry has been "helped" toward the dustbin of history by Senators and Congressmen who have ensured that they don't have to make improvements as quickly as their competitors. Honestly, I don't care if Chrysler throws out every executive, or if GM lays out a blueprint for becoming profitable by 2015. I do care if they're begging for cash while still colluding with the Bush administration to block implementation of the Clean Air Act.