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One Percenter: Tax The Rich Because People Like Me Don’t Create Jobs, The Middle Class Does

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"One Percenter: Tax The Rich Because People Like Me Don’t Create Jobs, The Middle Class Does"

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One Percenter Nick Hanauer wants you to raise his taxes.

Today in Bloomberg Businessweek, Nick Hanauer, a sucessful venture capitalist who has helped launch more than 20 companies, including Amazon.com, writes an op-ed that demolishes the myth that the rich are “job creators” and that we should never raise their taxes.

Hanauer says that government policymakers who have lowered taxes on the rich for decades “had it backward.” He advocates for raising taxes on the wealthy to fund public investment and explains that “Rich businesspeople like me don’t create jobs. Middle-class consumers do”:

Consider, for example, that a puny 3 percent surtax on incomes above $1 million would be enough to maintain and expand the current payroll tax cut beyond December, preventing a $1,000 increase on the average worker’s taxes at the worst possible time for the economy. With a few more pennies on the dollar, we could invest in rebuilding schools and infrastructure. And even if we imposed a millionaires’ surtax and rolled back the Bush- era tax cuts for those at the top, the taxes on the richest Americans would still be historically low, and their incomes would still be astronomically high. We’ve had it backward for the last 30 years. Rich businesspeople like me don’t create jobs. Middle-class consumers do, and when they thrive, U.S. businesses grow and profit. That’s why taxing the rich to pay for investments that benefit all is a great deal for both the middle class and the rich.

Indeed, the data backs up his claim. America’s middle class had its most robust years at the very same time that taxes on the rich were relatively high. Read Hanauer’s whole op-ed here.

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