Business People Agree with Warren Buffett: Raise Top Tax Rates to Lift Economy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 17, 2011
Contact: 
Bob Keener, (617) 610-6766bobkeener@businessforsharedprosperity.org 

Business people across the country are available for interview. Below are some examples:

Dal LaMagna, co-managing partner of IceStone in Brooklyn, NY, said:

"As a successful entrepreneur myself, I agree with Warren Buffett. If you care about jobs, the economy and our nation’s future, read our lips -- 'raise our taxes.'

"Buffett was right when he warned that Wall Street's multiplying derivatives were financial weapons of mass destruction. And he's right that lower tax rates for the wealthy have brought 'far lower job creation.' Our current tax code has it backward. People earning their income by actually working for it are paying more in taxes than people who make it in the stock market. Millionaires like me want to reinvest in our nation and strengthen opportunity for the future – not pull up the ladder behind us."

Lew Prince, managing partner of Vintage Vinyl, an independent music store in St. Louis, said:

“As a small business owner for more than 30 years, I have to be reality based. My company wouldn’t last a week if we kept repeating mistakes. The Bush tax cuts for the richest Americans were a big mistake. Continued tax cuts to the wealthy won’t create jobs but they will mean more cutbacks in the public services and infrastructure that really strengthen our economy. We’re still using roads, schools, parks and hospitals built during the Great Depression. Wouldn't it be great if our grandchildren were using broadband, renewable energy and 21st Century infrastructure built during the Great Recession – which in the real world is far from over?”

Scott Klinger, tax policy director of Business for Shared Prosperity, said:

“America's economic arteries are blocked. Wealth has clotted in the hands of large corporations and high-income families, while many small businesses and hard-working families struggle to make ends meet. Our current tax system fuels speculative investment by Wall Street bankers and rewards large corporation CEOs, hedge fund managers and other ultra-high income Americans with tax rates that are often lower than their employees. It is no accident that the tax-cutting Bush administration had the worst track record for job creation since the 1930s. We need to end the budget-busting tax cuts at the top that won’t help small business create jobs, won’t rebuild our failing infrastructure and won’t make us more competitive globally.”

Brian Setzler, President of TriLibrium, an accounting and business advisory firm in Portland, Ore. said:

"As a certified public accountant and business owner, I know the impact of taxes up close and personal. Warren Buffett’s appeal to raise taxes at the top is right on the money. It’s outrageous that small business owners and working Americans subsidize tax giveaways to millionaires and billionaires at big corporations and hedge funds. The reality is that our economy was much stronger when tax rates on millionaires and billionaires were higher and our tax system did a better job of reinforcing Main Street investment over Wall Street speculation. Job creation was much better before the Bush tax cuts, which have starved our government of revenues needed for rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, converting to clean energy, educating our kids, retraining workers and spurring the research and innovation needed to succeed in the new economy."

Contact: Bob Keener, (617) 610-6766bobkeener@businessforsharedprosperity.org to arrange interviews with those quoted above or other Business for Shared Prosperity members around the country.

Business for Shared Prosperity is a national network of forward-thinking business owners, executives and investors.

Warren Buffett’s op-ed, "Stop Coddling the Super-Rich,” can be found at http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/15/opinion/stop-coddling-the-super-rich.html

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