Entries in Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength (2)


Tax Me, I'm Rich, Says Deep-Pocketed Group

Adam Gault/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength -- rich guys in favor of raising taxes on themselves and other wealthy people -- say they are irritated over President Obama's failure to do just that.

Nor do they believe his latest announcement that he intends to try again, says Erica Payne, founder of the Agenda project and coordinator of the Patriotic Millionaires campaign.

The president, when a candidate in 2008, had recommended ending the Bush tax cuts for households earning over $250,000 a year. But he conceded that point when he signed into law in 2010 an agreement with Republicans to extend the Bush tax cuts two more years.

It's that concession that has disappointed and rankled Patriotic Millionaires, curdling their feelings. "The administration cut the deal they felt they needed to cut," shrugs Payne. "But we disagreed wholeheartedly. The president's quick and easy capitulation on an issue with such solid moral elements was disheartening."

On Sunday, the White House announced it would renew its attempt to increase taxes on the wealthy. That proposal is expected to be part of a speech the president will deliver later this week describing his long-range plan for strengthening the economy and dealing with the nation's debts and deficits.

Payne has little confidence the president will fare any better in the fight ahead than he fared against the Republicans in 2010.

In her view, the fight this time -- over whether to raise the nation's $14 trillion debt ceiling -- "ups the ante" and makes less likely an administration victory on forcing the wealthy to pay higher taxes.

Patriotic Millionaires earned headlines last winter when it ran ads calling on the President to let the Bush tax cuts expire on the wealthy. The ads read in part:

"We have done very well over 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. Letting tax cuts for incomes over $1 million expire is an important step in that direction."

The statement was signed by 45 persons "who now or in the past earned an income of $1 million per year or more." They included Jerry Cohen of Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream, Grammy Award-nominated musician Moby, Princeton Review founder John Katzman, and star attorney Guy Saperstein.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 


'Patriotic Millionaires' Call for Bush-Era Tax Cuts to Expire

Photo Courtesy - FiscalStrength [dot] com(WASHINGTON) -- Forty-five people have signed a letter to President Obama asking him to allow the Bush-era tax cuts to expire at the end of this year.  The president gets many letters like that.  But what was unusual about this petition was who signed it -- including the Grammy Award-nominated DJ MOBY, as well as Jerry Cohen of Ben-and-Jerry's-Ice-Cream fame.

All the signatories happen to be millionaires, who stand to lose financially if they get their way.

"The Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength" wrote a 155-word letter saying they hope their taxes will increase beginning in January.  Its text is posted at  It says:

"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."

The millionaires say they were not surreptitiously funded by a labor party but that they organized of their own volition, with coordination by the political strategy group the Agenda Project.

"This is not an orchestrated campaign," said Erica Payne, founder of the Agenda Project.  Payne said a few of the signatories with whom she's familiar contacted her and asked for her help in coordinating the millionaires.  Payne said the White House, California Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, among other elected officials, began receiving the letter last Monday and are "aware" of the petition.

Senate Democrats announced Friday that they will introduce a bill next month that will extend tax breaks for many individuals and businesses.  If those tax cuts extend to the middle class, Payne, who said the millionaires' campaign is advocating for the economic health of the entire country, said that would be "one win under the belt."

Notwithstanding the advice of the celebrity armchair economists, critics claim the expiration of the Bush tax cuts will target small businesses -- considered to be the engine of the stalled American economy.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio