Millionaires to Congress: Take our taxes, please

With the fiscal cliff approaching, four dozen California millionaires have renewed their call for Congress to let tax cuts expire for America’s richest citizens.

The millionaires are part of the national group Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength, a movement of more than 200 Americans with incomes over $1 million a year calling for higher taxes on incomes of that level. They’re joining with The Action, a broad coalition of labor and progressive groups pursuing the same goal.

“The rich have done extremely well in America for the past 30 years and it is past time for them to begin paying more taxes to support better public services,” retired attorney Guy Saperstein of Piedmont, one of the millionaires, said in today’s news release.

Another of the millionaires, former Wall Street Executive and author Ken Morris of Ross, said “fiscal intelligence suffered while millionaires benefited from GOP intransigence on fair taxation for far too long.”

“For the sake of renewing middle class economic health, it is high time to undo those policies by allowing the Bush tax cuts on the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans to expire,” he said.

Follow after the jump for a full list of the California millionaires…

Michael Alexander – El Macero, CA
Nancy Blachman – Burlingame, CA
Brady Brim-Deforest – Los Angeles, CA
David A. Brown – Berkeley, CA
Mark Buell – San Francisco, CA
Susie Buell – San Francisco, CA
Doug Carlston – San Rafael, CA
Jerome C. – San Diego, CA
David desJardins – Burlingame, CA
Marta Drury – San Francisco, CA
Doug Edwards – Los Altos, CA
Bob Epstein – Berkeley, CA
Jerry Fiddler – Berkeley, CA
Eric Fredricksen – Los Gatos, CA
Ron Garret, PhD – Emerald Hills, CA
Bill Gawthrop – Yorkville, CA
Steven Gluckstern – San Francisco, CA
Garrett Gruener – Oakland, CA
Suzanne Hess – San Diego, CA
Lawrence Hess – San Diego, CA
Frank Jernigan – San Francisco, CA
Wayne Jordan – Oakland, CA
William Jurika – Piedmont, CA
Norman Lear – Los Angeles, CA
Suzanne Lerner – Manhattan Beach, CA
Alexander M – Los Altos, CA
Dick Mader – Los Angeles, CA
Diane Meyer Simon – Santa Barbara, CA
Vibhu Mittal – Palo Alto, CA
Ken Morris – Ross, CA
Peter Norvig – Palo Alto, CA
Frank Patitucci – Pleasanton, CA
Andy Rappaport – Menlo Park, CA
Marsha Rosenbaum – San Francisco, CA
Guy and Jeanine Saperstein – Piedmont, CA
Heike Schmitz – Palo Alto, CA
Fritz Schneider – San Francisco, CA
Stephen M. Silberstein – Belvedere, CA
Craig Silverstein – Mountain View, CA
Susan Smalley – Beverly Hills, CA
Pat Spiegel – Aptos, CA
John Stewart – San Francisco, CA
Sandor & Faye Straus – Lafayette, CA
Kevin Wall – Beverly Hills, CA
David & Vinitha Watson – Oakland, CA
George Zimmer – Piedmont, CA

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • While I fully support their right of free speech, these people are fools (but apparently well funded fools).

    Higher tax rates DO NOT equate to a better or more equal tax system. The current tax code is chock full of loopholes that greatly benefit many of the rich. I’d love to find out how much these folks actually paid in taxes and how much they have squirreled off-shore or sheltered by other means.

    Need an example of how higher taxes DON’T work? Thanks to Proposition 30, California now has the nation’s HIGHEST state sales tax and the nation’s 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th HIGHEST state income tax rates. Yet, there’s not enough money for schools and our state government was ranked the nation’s WORST-RUN two years in a row. California’s tax revenues are misspent!

    You’ll notice that a number of these people are Leftist Progressives. High-tax California is considered by some to be “the oasis of Democratic politics.” See what this means to every-day Californians.

    If these people wanted to improve government, they fight for REAL REFORM, both in governance and in our overly complex, loophole-ridden tax system. The Fair Tax is a great place to start.

  • RR, Senile Columnist

    Nothing prevents these dudes from sending checks to the U.S. Treasury. I am sure Washington would send them thank-you notes.

  • John W

    Fiscal sanity requires BOTH revenue and REAL cuts in spending, including Medicare. Republicans shouldn’t pretend that we can get enough revenue just by “broadening the base” with elimination of as yet unspecified “loopholes.” Democrats shouldn’t pretend we can get enough Medicare hard dollar savings without making some of us pay higher premiums and co-pays, limiting what services are covered, and probably increasing the eligibility age.

    Anybody who says “we have a spending problem, not a revenue problem” is obliged to name the cuts and the savings those cuts would generate. Killing “Big Bird” won’t close the deficit.

  • Elwood

    California is just screwed:

    ““Until public employee compensation and benefits are brought in line, there will be no answer to the fiscal shortfalls that California governments at every level face.”


  • John W

    #4 Totally agree. I did some quick research yesterday. Typical starting pay for a firefighter or a police office is about the same as an Army Major. Pensions for 30 years are about equal to a one-star general.

    But here’s the thing. We know this stuff and howl at the moon about it, and occasionally write a letter to the editor. But there is no real popular uprising over it. Which is pretty amazing considering that few people outside the public sector will ever see anything remotely close to those benefits. So, why no uprising?

    Ironically, Prop. 13 may be partly to blame. Why? Because we are all held harmless from paying higher taxes to cover the cost. We have no skin in the game. And cutbacks in services don’t touch most of us in a tangible daily way. So, we shrug our shoulders and worry about something else.

  • RR, Senile Columnist, I’ve even compiled information on how to do this.

    Useful Information for Under-taxed Individuals

    Here in California, the Legislature has indeed made cuts to the General Fund, brining amonts down to saner levels.

    Unfortunately, total expenditures remain at a near record high, even accounting for inflation.

  • Elwood

    The rich pay more than their fair share of taxes.


  • JohnW

    I see the Men’s WearHouse dude on the list.