More than 200 millionaires — many of them American — presented a manifesto to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to “tax the ultra-rich” — including themselves.
The call, issued in an open letter Wednesday titled “The Cost of Extreme Wealth,” comes as the U.S. hit its $34.1 trillion debt limit. The nonpartisan U.S. Congressional Budget Office has linked the Trump-era tax cuts — mostly benefiting the wealthy and corporations — to a $1 trillion deficit in 2020. Republicans are now talking about shaving Social Security and Medicare to save money, not raising taxes on the rich.
“Tax the ultra rich and do it now,” demands the letter to the Davos forum from the American and British organizations Patriotic Millionaires, TaxMeNow and Millionaires for Humanity.
Wealthy heir Abigail Disney blasted Davos in a statement as a “farce” for failing to address the issue.
“Extreme wealth is eating our world alive. It is undermining our democracies, destabilizing our economies, and destroying our climate,” Disney said. “But for all their talk about solving the world’s problems, the attendees of Davos refuse to discuss the only thing that can make a real impact — taxing the rich.”
Taxing the wealthy is “simple, common-sense economics,” the letter says. “It is an investment in our common good and a better future that we all deserve, and as millionaires we want to make that investment.”
The “history of the last five decades is a story of wealth flowing nowhere but upwards,” the letter notes. “In the last few years, this trend has greatly accelerated. In the first two years of the pandemic, the richest 10 men in the world doubled their wealth while 99% of people saw their incomes fall.”
The World Economic Forum didn’t immediately respond.
Oxfam reported Monday that the world’s richest 1% accrued nearly two-thirds of all new global wealth created since 2020. An Oxfam representative derided the Davos gathering in an interview with Voice of America as a “festival of wealth.”