(Photo: REUTERS/Brendan McDermid)
Patriotic Millionaires, a group of businessmen who insist that the rich should pay more in taxes in order to help revive the economy, are holding a press conference on Wednesday in Washington D.C., engaging in discussion with congressional leaders from both parties about the future of the country.
"Taxes on someone who owns four cars must be higher than taxes on someone who owns one car. Four cars make more potholes and the cost of fixing the road should not be shared equally," says Patriotic Millionaire Lawrence Benenson of New York. Benenson, a partner at Benenson Capital Partners, LLC, is one of the scheduled participants at the press conference.
The group fully supports the "Buffett Rule", named after American investor Warren Buffett, which is a tax plan proposed by President Barack Obama in 2011 which states that millionaires should pay a minimum of 30 percent in taxes every year. The tax rate, which would impact about 0.3 percent of Americans, has been the cause of bipartisan dispute, with Republicans heavily opposed to it while Democrats have supported it.
Patriotic Millionaire and President of Elkhorn-Hazard Coal Land Roy Crawford explains the goal at the heart of the group: "Those of us who have benefited the most from our capitalist system should care the most about helping to get the country's budget balanced and pay down the national debt. Being a capitalist doesn't have to mean having no heart."
The group has shared its disappointment with Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) and the many Senate Republicans who have voiced opposition to the "Buffett Rule".
"This is not a time for partisanship or political games. This is not an issue of left or right, Democrat or Republican. This is an American issue, and the future of American democracy demands that this issue come to a vote," Patriotic Millionaires has said in a statement.
"The 'Buffett Rule' is not the only thing we need to do to ensure the success of our country, but it is certainly the most obvious," the group added.
The businessmen originally came together in Nov. 2010, when they demanded that tax cuts for those making more than $1 million per year were left to expire. The cuts were first introduced by former President George W. Bush.
President Obama, who is staunchly in favor of ending these tax cuts, oftentimes said during his re-election campaign that the only way to restore the economy is for everyone to pay their fair share. Those making the most money are asked to contribute a little bit more so that the middle class can flourish.
Republicans, on the other hand, including former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, have insisted that wealthy business owners are job creators, and taxing them more would be an obstacle for them in hiring more people.
Although the White House administration has said that it will support the "Buffett Rule" more as a guideline for the future rather than as legislation, the Patriotic Millionaires group has insisted that its members will continue fighting for a more balanced America when it comes to the economy.