While debate over the “fiscal cliff” continues to rage in Congress between Democrats and Republicans, and between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, a key issue remains unresolved—the fate of the Bush tax cuts. Since the beginning of his first term, Obama has called for the wealthiest Americans to pay their “fair share” of taxes. He has argued for a return to Clinton-era tax rates, when the country’s economy surged and President Clinton left office with a healthy budget surplus.
Republicans, none more stringently than Grover Norquist, claim that higher taxes will hurt growth, and stymie the recovery. But there is little evidence to back that up. A recent study by the non-partisan Congressional Research Service found no correlation between lowering top tax rates and economic growth—an ideological uppercut to Republicans who, led by Mitch McConnell in the Senate, cried foul and had it withdrawn. Many millionaires and billionaires, meanwhile, have reached the conclusion that in order to begin chipping away at the budget deficit, it is essential to raise the marginal tax rates for the wealthiest Americans. Here we present five members of “the 1 percent” asking to pay more in taxes.