Over 80 millionaires from the United States (US) and six other nations have a message for their governments "Tax us. Tax us. Tax us."
The nabobs comprising Walt Disney Co. heirs Abigail and Tim Disney, Danish-Iranian entrepreneur Djaffar Shalchi, Ben & Jerry's co-founder Jerry Greenfield, former BlackRock Inc. managing director Morris Pearl, and "Love, Actually" director Richard Curtis have signed an open letter in this regard.
They have urged the governments in their respective countries to tax them more to help pay for the damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to economies around the world.
The open letter "Tax us. Tax us. Tax us" from the group calling itself 'Millionaires for Humanity' reads, "The problems caused by, and revealed by, COVID-19 can't be solved with charity, no matter how generous... Government leaders must take the responsibility for raising the funds we need and spending them fairly."
In response to this predicament, they offer the solution of taxing the rich "immediately" and "permanently" to pay for the government programmes made necessary by the pandemic.
"Tax us. Tax us. Tax us. It is the right choice. It is the only choice. Humanity is more important than our money," the cohort says in the open letter that further states that coronavirus outbreak has thrown open a sea of challenges that could not be solved with charity, "no matter how generous," and that governments ought to take responsibility to mobilise funds needed to handle the issues themselves.
The millionaires, mostly based in the US, the UK, Germany, Canada, and New Zealand articulate in the letter that increasing the taxes will adequately fund health systems, security, and schools.
"No, we are not the ones caring for the sick in intensive care wards. We are not driving the ambulances that will bring the ill to hospitals. We are not restocking grocery store shelves or delivering food door to door," they say in the missive.
The millionaires also forewarn of the need to "rebalance our world before its too late." They continued to emphasise that "unlike tens of millions of people around the world, we do not have to worry about losing our jobs, our homes, or our ability to support our families." The signatories to the letter further underlined that they were also much less likely to fall victim to COVID-19.
The letter, which comes ahead of this weekend's Group of 20 meeting, isn't the first such entreaty. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic upset public finances, a cohort of over 200 wealthy individuals calling themselves 'The Patriotic Millionaires" pressed for a more forward-looking taxation system.