Thursday, November 17, 2011

Millionaires On Capitol Hill: Tax Us More

Lobbyists for a day, a band of millionaires stormed Capitol Hill on Wednesday to urge Congress to tax them more.

They had a little trouble getting in. It turns out there are procedures, even for the really rich.

But once inside, their message was embraced by liberals and tolerated by some conservatives – including the ideological leader of anti-tax lawmakers, who had some advice for them, too.

"If you think the federal government can spend your money better than you can, then by all means" pay more in taxes than you owe, said Grover Norquist, of Americans for Tax Reform, a group that has gotten almost all congressional Republicans to pledge to vote against tax hikes. The IRS should have a little line on the form where people can donate money to the government, he suggested, "just like the tip line on a restaurant receipt."

One of the millionaires suggested that if Norquist wanted low taxes and less government, "Renounce your American citizenship and move to Somalia where they don't collect any tax."

In the silence left by the private efforts of the "supercommittee" to find $1.2 trillion or more in deficit cuts by Thanksgiving, free advice flowed in public.

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