'Patriotic' millionaires hit Trump on taxes, call for reform: Americans won't 'put up with this system'
As election day draws nearer, tax justice has emerged as a problem - and Americans find an unlikely ally in a group of wealthy proponents.
Former Vice President and Democratic challenger Joe Biden hit the headlines with his economic plan, which includes a call to raise the corporate tax rate to 28% and restore the highest individual income tax rate to 39.6%. The Biden tax plan is a far cry from President Trump's Tax Cuts and Employment Act, which slashed corporate taxes and benefited the rich.
According to Morris Pearl, chairman of the Patriotic Millionaires grassroots group, “gross inequality” among taxpayers is the top economic concern right now.
"The richest of us pay tax rates so much lower than anyone else, and we need to change that," Pearl, a former Wall Street executive who previously worked for BlackRock, told Yahoo Finance's On the Move this week.
"Those of us who are investors pay so much lower tax rates than those who actually have to work for a living, and that is what people say is so unfair," he added.
With the COVID-19 outbreak causing widespread job losses and economic pain, Pearl insisted that Americans will no longer endure this system where most people pay a lot of taxes, but rather the few who are rich get richer will.
CLEVELAND, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 29: U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and former Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden attend the first presidential debate at the Case Western Reserve University Health Education campus September 29, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. This is the first of three planned debates between the two candidates ahead of the November 3rd elections. (Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool / Getty Images)
The debate has escalated in recent weeks after it was revealed that Trump, as a real estate developer, paid far lower federal taxes than the average American. It sparked a debate about how certain legal provisions allow the rich to claim deductions that drastically reduce their tax burdens, despite being perfectly legal.
"Billionaire real estate developers and people like me who make all my money on investment income have lower tax rates than people like you who work for a living," argued Pearl.
He accused the president of "taking advantage of the system" and alleged that the Republicans "changed the rules".
"We have seen the results, a system where rich people pay less and less and everyone else has to take over the entire tab," added Pearl.
McKenzie DeGroot is a producer at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @degrootmckenzie
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