Most US Millionaires Want to Pay Higher Taxes

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It appears that some of the wealthy want to be part of the solution when it comes to income inequality.

According to CNBC’s first-ever millionaire survey – which polled 514 American millionaires — more than half of them identify income inequality as a “major problem” in the U.S.

And this may surprise you: Nearly two-thirds of millionaires are in favor of both an increase in the minimum wage and higher taxes on the wealthy to reduce inequality.

Robert Frank of CNBC wrote:

Far from being a purely self-interested voting bloc — American millionaires have complicated views when it comes to the wealth gap and opportunity in America. They are unashamed of their own wealth and attribute their success to hard work, smart investing and savings. They also believe that anyone in America can get wealthy if they work hard.

However, the majority of the rich also say they recognize that cultural and family issues, as well as insufficient access to education, can be prohibitive to financial success.

“They advocate improved education, higher taxes on the wealthy and better savings incentives for the poor and middle class as important changes that would reduce inequality,” Frank wrote.

In the end, politics plays a major role in how millionaires view inequality and taxes. Not surprisingly, more than two times as many Democratic millionaires (78 percent) than Republican millionaires (31 percent) support higher taxes on the wealthy. The same is true for a hike in the minimum wage.

Frank wrote:

The bottom line: American millionaires, in general, agree that inequality is a problem. But when it comes to solutions, millionaires are just as split along political lines as the rest of the country.

Earlier this week, we told you that the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development recommended raising taxes on the rich by “reducing tax deductions that benefit top earners and taxing all compensation, including capital gains, as ordinary income” as a way to ensure a more equal distribution of wealth. The OECD noted that the top 1 percent in the U.S. make at least 20 percent of all income.

Are you surprised that many of the wealthy would say yes to more taxes as an effort to narrow the income gap? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

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  • D Lowrey

    I noticed that it was mentioned if you “work” hard enough…you can be rich as well. What wasn’t mentioned was that many of those they interviewed started off rich with being born into their wealth. Very few actually worked their way up…but inherited or married into their money. The moral of the story is that once you’re born or fortunate enough to marry into wealth…you will stay there through your family and contacts the rest of society will never have access to.

    • Stacy Johnson

      That’s a surprising thing to read. What leads you to believe very few millionaires worked their way up?

    • philofthefuture

      A complete lie. Over 87% of millionaires are first generation, they earned it. When Facebook went public Zuckerberg became a billionaire, but over a thousand others became millionaires. A friend of mine sold his company and made so much even the clerk at the front desk became a millionaire. Silicon valley cranks them out by the thousand, if you are any engineer there with a little experience and worth your salt you are a millionaire.
      They days of tightening a nut for $50/hr are over, don’t think you can major in basket weaving and have a good life. There are high paying jobs going begging for lack of qualified people, McDonalds should never be a career choice, merely a stepping stone. Study something that pays, don’t have kids until you can afford them, if you get married make it for life, don’t do dangerous sports. That’s how you have a good life.

  • Linda

    It would be interesting to learn how many of the millionaires polled contribute to non-profit organizations and what that percentage is based on their political affiliation.

  • dapqam

    Well then who is going to introduce this to Congress and push it forward? I think the loopholes should be the priority. I don’t know that taxing capital gains as ordinary income is wise or necessary. I also think the top income rates should be raised. BUT let’s make sure this is not an opportunity for US to spend more. All of these increased revenues should be used to decrease our deficit and start lowering our debt.

  • philofthefuture

    You got that right!